Thursday, May 23, 2019

Crop planting delayed because of Midwest flooding; farmers hope that won't hurt payments from new trade-aid program

Extensive flooding in the Midwest has delayed planting for many farmers. That's become a more complicating factor in the Department of Agriculture's efforts to create a $16 billion aid program for farmers hurt by the trade war with China.

"Farm groups have pushed for higher aid for their own commodities," and the National Farmers Union asked Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue last week to base the payments on historical production. That would be different from the payments created last year, which "were specifically tied to production levels," Chris Clayton writes for DTN/The Progressive Farmer. "With final planting dates for crop insurance quickly approaching, the formula used for trade aid could factor heavily in farmers' planting decisions in the coming weeks."

Corn and soybean planting are significantly behind, and more heavy rain and flooding is predicted for the next few weeks. "With planting so far behind normal and continued heavy rain and flooding still in the forecast for the Midwest and Plains through the end of May, expectations are high that the number of prevented-planting acres could be large," Clayton reports. Some farmers may be forced to replant, and some will likely be unable to plant at all. For them, basing aid on historical production would make all the difference.

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