The National Corn Growers Association provided the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommendations for short and long-term actions that would provide assistance to farmers facing losses due, in part, to the most recent tariff increases and prolonged trade dispute with China.
The recommendations were in response to a statement from the White House last week that a second round of trade assistance would be issued as China trade negotiations continue.
NCGA’s recommendations asked the USDA to update last year’s Market Facilitation Program, which provided corn farmers with only one cent per bushel, to more equitably address the real-time market impacts of trade disruptions. Shared analysis had shown trade disruption cost corn farmers $0.44/bushel last year.
NCGA also submitted a number of recommendations that would greatly benefit corn farmers without any added costs, including:
- Resolve ongoing trade disputes so that the United States can focus on USMCA ratification, as well as negotiations with Japan and other new trading partners.
- Direct the Environmental Protection Agency to complete rulemaking to allow year-round E15 by June 1
- The rejection of the 40 small refinery exemption petitions pending for 2018 that would greatly reduce the number of ethanol-equivalent gallons in the nation’s fuel supply.
- Much-needed changes to the small refinery exemption process that would result in the reallocation of any waived gallons and more transparency in the overall process.
The Minnesota Corn Growers Association also called on its own members to contact the White House and share the hardships faced by corn famers today, as well as why only one penny per bushel would not bring adequate relief to farmers. MCGA thanks the hundreds who made their voice heard by contacting the White House via phone and email.