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USDA Announces County Rates for Trump Tariff Farm Welfare

Prior to voting against suspending the debt ceiling for two years yesterday, Congressman Dusty Johnson expressed his support for another imperfect plan for more deficit spending to socialistically prop up South Dakota’s Trump-battered farmers:

The USDA yesterday laid out the county by county rates it will pay farmers for the damage they’ve suffered under Trump’s reckless tariffs. The Trump Administration apparently isn’t differentiating these welfare payments based on which crops farmers plant, or how much their land historically yields or actually yields this year, or how much any given farmer actually loses in sales. As long as a farmer plants one of 28 commodity crops* (few of which would actually show up for immediate consumption at your local farmer’s market), they can cash in on the single county payment rates.

The minimum payment is $15 per acre. South Dakota counties getting stiffed with that rate are all West River: Bennett, Butte, Custer, Dewey, Fall River, Haakon, Lawrence, Meade, Oglala Lakota, Pennington, Perkins, and Ziebach. SOme East River counties can get more than four times that per-acre rate:

  • Brookings: $65
  • Clay: $69
  • Hamlin (where Kristi Noem’s family farms): $62
  • Hanson: $60
  • Hutchinson: $60
  • Kingsbury: $62
  • Lake: $67
  • Lincoln: $68
  • McCook: $65
  • Minnehaha: $68
  • Moody: $69

Brown County comes close, getting $58 per acre. A farmer who sells one section’s worth of bumper beans to AGP at a decent price this fall can qualify for a $37,120 tariff premium from the Uncle Sam.

A few counties down South are getting over $100 per acre. Ag Sscretary Sonny Perdue’s home county of Houston in Georgia gets $128 per acre.

Trumpistanis are calling Democrats communists. But the Trump Administration is paying farmers fixed rates regardless of specific crops planted or produced, which sounds more like good old Soviet farming than anything the majority party in the House has proposed. When Congressman Dusty Johnson praises this plan, isn’t he praising Communism?

At least the Farm Bureau remembers capitalism:

“These are difficult times for agriculture, and the longer these trade wars continue, the deeper the impact on farm country,” Zippy Duvall, the president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said in a statement.

“While we are grateful for the continuing support for American agriculture from President Trump and Secretary Perdue, America’s farmers ultimately want trade more than aid,” Duvall said. “It is critically important to restore agricultural markets and mutually beneficial relationships with our trading partners around the world” [Jessie Higgins, “USDA Lays Out Who Will Receive $16B in Trade Aid to Farmers,” UPI, 2019.07.25].

On the good side, at least the USDA is putting a price on the damage Trump is doing to South Dakota farmers. With 43 million acres in agriculture, assume that even half of that is planted to the eligible crops, and multiply by a quick a dirty average per-county MFP rate of $42… and South Dakota could get $900 million this year in MFP payments to make up for the reckless Trump trade war.

*Crops eligible for Market Facilitation Program payments:  alfalfa hay, barley, canola, corn, crambe, dried beans, dry peas, extra-long staple cotton, flaxseed, lentils, long grain and medium grain rice, millet, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, rye, safflower, sesame seed, small and large chickpeas, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, temperate japonica rice, triticale, upland cotton, and wheat.

Update 12:36 CDT: Fellow Trumpo-Communist Senator Marion Michael Rounds sends out this information to his followers about the MFP eligibility requirements:

  • Payments are limited to a combined $250,000 for non-specialty crops per person or legal entity.
  • MFP payments are also limited to a combined $250,000 for dairy and hog producers and a combined $250,000 for specialty crop producers.
  • No applicant can receive more than $500,000.
  • Eligible applicants must have an average adjusted gross income for tax years 2014, 2015 and 2016 of less than $900,000.
  • Producers who filed a prevented planting claim and planted an FSA-certified cover crop, with the potential to be harvested, qualify for a $15 per acre payment. Acres that were never planted in 2019 are not eligible for an MPF payment.

Only in Farm Country can folks with six-figure incomes qualify for welfare checks… and only in Farm Country can one person get up to $500,000 in welfare payments in one year.


  1. mike from iowa 2019-07-26 09:46

    Donald J. Trump

    Verified account

    Follow Follow @realDonaldTrump
    When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!

    Tired of all the win….er lying?

  2. jerry 2019-07-26 14:06

    Farmers are clever by half. Watch this guy agree with to disagree with himself. The first signs of dementia are when you see something that is real and then you deny it is something you are seeing.

    This guy has 4,000 acres and 80% of it is under water. But, he cannot agree with himself what the problems are that he knows are problems. Send him a check as well as the rest of them. Welfare has to suit them because they have mental health issues and are disabled.

  3. Robert McTaggart 2019-07-26 14:52

    One side of the political spectrum does not want to admit than man has had anything to do with climate change. The climate has always been changing, they say.

    Man is the majority cause. One can show that there is more carbon from the burning of fossil fuels than from natural processes. That is impacting farming.

    The other side of the political spectrum does not want to admit that batteries are not ready, renewables are not perfect, and any plan will be expensive.

    Batteries are not ready, renewables need help, and it will cost money…even with nuclear in the mix.

    So both sides have their blind spots with regard to the climate debate.

  4. jerry 2019-07-26 15:24

    As long as the bribery continues, all is good. It looks like we are economically about equal to our new motherland, Russia, so we have that going for us.

  5. Debbo 2019-07-26 15:29

    From Mike Allen on Axios:

    “At latest count, there are 75.5 million hogs in the U.S., the highest count since we began quantifying such things in 1964. At the same time, China’s in the middle of a major shock stemming from the outbreak of African Swine Fever. These numbers should be taken with an appropriate grain of salt, but China’s government said that the hog population is down 25.8 percent and its sow population — you know, the main way we have to make additional pigs — is down slightly more. One would think this is a situation easily solved by market forces, but the 62 percent tariff isn’t exactly helping matters.”

    AgDay TV

  6. Debbo 2019-07-26 15:31

    If not for Rancid Racist’s egotistical trade wars, farmers would be sitting in the catbird seat with their hogs. Instead, RR is trying to buy them with welfare payments.

  7. Robert McTaggart 2019-07-26 15:39

    If we could get 75.5 million pigs on treadmills, all of our pig power woes would be solved.

  8. Debbo 2019-07-26 15:41

    Oops. The above comment was from Walt Hickey’s Numlock News. Sorry.

  9. jerry 2019-07-26 17:51

    As long as we’re paying farmers to look at their belly buttons, why not buy us out? Indeed, give the cash price for the land, pay it and then plant that land to sustainable trees by removing the drain tile. Put it back the way nature intended.

  10. Debbo 2019-07-27 18:53

    “Every day, a pump kicks on to shoot water from those acres into a ditch beyond the field. And still, more water keeps emerging as rain leaches from the field like an old sponge. [Farmer Larry] Conrad left the field unplanted and will collect a federal crop insurance payment instead.

    “‘You’d much rather have a crop out there,’ Conrad said. ‘It just bugs you to see a field sitting idle.’

    “The cool, wet spring forced farmers across the Midwest to leave millions of acres of corn and soybeans unplanted and will likely trigger a record payout in a subset of crop insurance called ‘prevented plant.’ The payments are triggered under crop insurance when weather prevented farmers from planting a field.

    “Economists at the University of Illinois estimate the prevented-plant payout may be $3.6 billion this year, nine times more than last year and shattering the previous record of $2.2 billion in 2011.”

    “Typical revenue per acre of corn in a good season:
    175 bushels per acre and $4 per bushel is . . .
    With a successful year of planting = $700
    If crop fails after planting, federal insurance will cover 80% = $560
    If crop cannot be planted because of weather, only 55% of the above will be covered = $308
    Source: USDA”

    “Federal crop insurance program
    In 2018, the total premiums for U.S. crop insurance were $9.9 billion
    Paid by federal government ($6.3 billion)
    Paid by farmers ($3.6 billion)
    Source: USDA”

    “Conrad said rent costs him about $200 an acre, crop insurance is $18 per acre and he still has to spray to keep weeds down even if the field is fallow, which costs another $25 per acre.”

    “Taxpayers cover 62% of premiums for farmers, help pay administrative costs for insurers and reinsure some of the highest-risk policies. The program has cost the government $73 billion over the past 10 years.”

    “Gary Schnitkey, an ag economist at the University of Illinois, estimates 8 million acres of corn and 3 million acres of soybeans were left fallow around the U.S. this spring. ‘There is a pretty high margin for error there, but I do think it’s in the ballpark,’ he said.”

    Strib paywall

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