As Tariffs Take Their Toll, Family Farmers Apply for Relief Money

LAKE BENTON, M.N.  – The trade war continues. Tit-for-tat tariffs mean farmers may pay the price.

The USDA hopes a $12 billion program will help. However, some farmers say it won’t make a big enough difference, and others have to wait a little longer for that much-needed check.

Shane Odegaard, a Lake Preston, S.D. farmer, is all about family. Farming is no exception.

“We’re family so we all stick together and move forward as a family,” said the hog farmer.

However, times are tough for the American farmer.

That’s why Odegaard just applied for relief assistance from the USDA.

Hog farmers submit paperwork with the number of hogs they had on a given day between July 15th and August 15th.

According to the Farm Service Agency, they should receive eight dollars per hog, but only for half of their hogs.

Odegaard says this program is a starting point, yet far from a bailout.

“It really made us step back and look and reevaluate where our operation is,” said Odegaard.

In Minnesota, Bob Worth is waiting to hop in his tractor and start his 48th harvest, weather permitting.

“There’s nothing like being able to work side by side with your son,” said Worth of Minnesota Soybean.

Soybean farmers will have to wait until their harvest is over to apply for a dollar and sixty five cents per bushel in aid. Until then, it’s anyone’s guess how many crops they’ll yield.

Worth says these tariffs are more alarming for young farmers, as they’re just starting up.

“It’s just very disheartening that it’s got to be agriculture product stakes they hit,” said Worth.

While he invested in his big equipment years ago, Worth still loses sleep over tariffs.

“We’re very nervous about going into 2019 doing a cash flow going forward,” said Worth.

While Worth waits to harvest, he says help can’t.

According to the FSA, the amount of  aid money that farmers will receive depends on their commodities.

For example, you can receive up to $125,000 total for corn and soybean production.

The FSA says it usually takes only a few days to get that check via direct deposit.

You can apply online at farmers.gov.

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