Perdue: Don't Expect Market Facilitation Program in 2020
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue told a House Agriculture Committee this week that additional payments for trade disruptions are not on the agenda for his agency. He said despite President Trump's recent tweet indicating farmers and producers could expect additional payments, he is advising them to end their reliance on the Market Facilitation Program.
Perdue: “I'm telling farmers to do what they've always done and plant for the market. I’m telling farmers not to anticipate one. Don’t expect one. We know there will be some weaning pressure here as people have become comfortable with that. Our goal is not to continue a Market facilitation Program. If we see trade increase and prices don’t go up, that’s a market signal to farmers who are producing too much.”
Those comments were not part of the secretary’s prepared remarks but he addressed it just the same.
Perdue said spring flooding in the midwest, cold and blizzards in other areas in addition to the tough trade situation made 2019 a tough year. Despite that farm income was up 11.7% from 2018 largely due to the indemnity payments. In total, farmers got more than $22 billion in government payments in 2019. The highest level of farm subsidies in 14 years.
Farmers received 9.4 billion of crop insurance, with Prevent Plant Insurance adding another 600 million. 4.5 million was paid in adhoc disaster payments.