Dispute Over USDA Relief Payments Between North & South
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A nonpartisan report from the US Government Accountability Office reveals that Southern states have been receiving more in payouts from the USDA Market Facilitation Program than other regions.
Farmers in states like Minnesota and North Dakota received on average between $29,000 and $36,000 in payouts from the program.
In states like Georgia and Arizona, those payouts ranged from $56,000 to $83,000 on average.
“You can’t look at this and just feel like their wasn’t favoritism here. We need to learn from this and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said Minnesota U.S. Senator Tina Smith.
The disparity comes from how certain crops are valued through the Market Facilitation Program.
Cotton crops receive 40% of their market value, while soybeans only receive 25%.
Wheat, hogs, corn, and dairy all received less then 10% of their value.
The purpose of the program was to provide financial assistance to farmers affected by the pandemic.