2020 Spring Farm Outlook

Page 18 2020 Logan County Farm Outlook LINCOLN DAILY NEWS March 19, 2020 These trade wars in recent years resulted in higher tariffs and lower purchases of agricultural products, adversely affecting many farmers, though recent deals offer some hope and optimism. During the long trade war, China was purchasing many agricultural products like soybeans and pork elsewhere. That in turn affected individual producers as higher prices resulted in lower sales. Some farmers found it challenging to achieve sustainable sales volume. Over the last two years, the United States Government offered a bailout in the form of financial assistance to farmers hit hard by the trade wars. Market Facilitation Payments, often known as Trump bucks, offset the low grain prices and brought substantial aid to farmers. News reports say that some farmers received up to $76 an acre on soybeans. Local farmers were among those who benefited from these payments. For example, one Fall 2019 Farm Outlook article showed that Logan County producers received over $20 million dollars of nearly $700 M in MFP funds earmarked for Illinois producers. These funds helped the recipients pay bills when grain prices were low and offset the effects of the trade war. As 2019 ended, the trade war had not been resolved, but there were questions about whether the MFP program would continue. The recent USA Today article “Trump Buck, China Tariffs. Will Farmer Subsidies continue in 2020?” asserts, “the state with the highest payout was Illinois [with] $2.6 billion across years.” F armers may have entered agriculture because of their love for tilling the soil, but today they are major players in politics and commerce. Farmers are front and center in the international “trade wars.” By Angela Reiners Continue 4 Trump Bucks, Trade Deals and what may be ahead