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USDA Issues Second Phase of Trade Aid Payments

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

(North American Meat Institute)

USDA in late December announced the second phase of its $12 billion plan to assist farmers and agricultural producers affected by retaliatory trade actions resulting from U.S. tariffs on foreign imports.

Under the assistance program, pork producers with adjusted gross income of less than $900,000 are eligible for direct payments of $8 per animal – in two phases of $4 each – based on the number of live hogs they owned on August 1, 2018, or on any day between July 15 and August 15, 2018, if that is more representative of the entity’s ownership interests. Livestock payments are limited to $125,000 per person or legal entity. Pork producers affected by retaliatory tariffs can apply for payments through January 15, 2019.

Meanwhile, under the plan’s Food Purchase and Distribution Program, administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA intends to purchase nearly $559 million worth of pork and $14.8 million worth of beef for federal nutrition assistance and child nutrition programs. These purchases, the first of which were recently delivered to food centers across the country, will be made in four phases and may be adjusted to accommodate changes due to product availability, market conditions, trade negotiation status and program capacity.

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