On May 23rd, President Trump, flanked by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, announced a $16 billion farm aid package to offset losses from the U.S. trade war with China. Agriculture Secretary Perdue said $14.5 billion of the $16 billion would be paid directly to producers through the Market Facilitation Program. Walnuts will be included in this program. According to the USDA release, “Tree nut producers, fresh sweet cherry producers, cranberry producers and fresh grape producers will receive a payment based on 2019 acres of production.” This package aims to continue support of farmers and ranchers impacted by delayed negotiations and trade disruption with China.
“We look forward to working with the USDA in leveraging these funds to best benefit the entire walnut industry and our growers,” stated Michelle Connelly, CEO, California Walnut Commission. “The California Walnut Commission has been actively engaged with the USDA and its Foreign Agricultural Service, the U.S. Trade Representative, along with the Farm Bureau and federal and local government officials making them aware of how the trade disruption and high tariffs have affected the walnut industry. We are pleased that walnuts have been included in this latest round of trade assistance. Our industry needs long term resolution for the tariff issues for future stability.”
In addition to the Market Facilitation Program, $1.4 billion will be spent in surplus commodity purchases through the Food Purchase and Distribution Program and $100 million in Agricultural Trade Promotion funding. The CWC will apply for funding for export development activities through the Agricultural Trade Promotion program.