Fargo, N.D. (May 24, 2019) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced the USDA will take actions to support farmers affected by recent trade disruptions. President Trump has authorized the USDA to provide up to $16 billion for payments to farmers, food purchases and trade promotion.

North Dakota Grain Growers Association President Jeff Mertz said the programs won’t help farmers recoup all value lost from recent trade disruption caused by tariffs, but it is a step in the right direction. “This news is a positive for agriculture. It shows us that Secretary Perdue is trying to look out for farmers during these troubling times,” Mertz said. “North Dakota is a national leader in wheat and barley production. So it’s important we do our best to ensure these federal funds benefit growers on a local level.”

Mertz said the new Market Facilitation Program should help provide added stability going forward. “It appears the new program is based more on total production acres so it’s not making crops compete with one another,” he said. “Hopefully that will limit market distortion and be a positive for all commodities.”