Market Facilitation Program Payments Stuck at OMB

Farmers thought they’d have more details on the second round of USDA trade-aid payments by now. However, Farm Journal says the payments are still under negotiations. USDA is negotiating with the Office of Management and Budget for that second round of payments under the Market Facilitation Program. USDA had originally intended to release the information on Monday. The agency had wanted to assess the potential impact of the temporary U.S. and China trade truce. The OMB is tasked with making sure the cost of what the government projects it will spend is kept in check as much as possible. Following the China news, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue told farmers that payments would still be happening. “From my perspective, nothing has changed as far as the damages farmers have experienced,” Perdue says. How large those payments will be is unclear, but they will likely be a different amount than the first round of payments. The Farm Journal report says the prospect of a more normalized trade flow with China going into 2019 might mean this round of aid payments will be a little less than they were before.