Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation members continue to express their concern regarding the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China. In an effort to make their voices heard, Federation President Mike McCormick sent a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue on August 13 outlining the long-term effects this dispute will have on Mississippi’s farmers and ranchers.
“A recent study conducted by the Mississippi State University predicts that a representative soybean and corn farm in Mississippi could lose anywhere from 51-68 percent of their net farm income if the 25 percent tariff stays in place on U.S. soybeans,” McCormick stated in the letter. “Producers currently face very narrow margins in corn and soybean production. Given producers have little ability to adjust input prices; the price changes incurred from the proposed tariffs will have an astounding impact on their bottom line.”
Additionally, McCormick requested USDA exempt trade mitigation programs to farmers from the current payment limits and means testing protocols within current FSA regulation.
“As USDA writes the regulations and rules to implement this program, I ask that you consider waiving or modifying all payment limits and means testing to be applied to this assistance package,” McCormick’s letter stated. “In Mississippi, many farms grow many of the commodities included in the Market Facilitation Program. Applying payment limits and income means testing will limit the ability for many of these farms to have access to this important safety net program that the administration has set forth.”