10/11/2018- Some Marinette County farm commodities are being hit hard by trade tariffs and an assistance program introduced by the USDA isn’t providing the relief many had hoped for. Scott Reuss is the local UW Extension Agriculture/Horticulture Agent. He says the Market Facilitation Program was designed to bridge the gap caused by a drop in market prices following retaliatory tariffs on US goods by countries like China and Mexico. However, Reuss says local farmers are only being paid for about 12 of the 60- to 70-cent- loss per hundredweight on milk prices and soybean prices have impacted just as severely.
Farmers can’t receive MFP payments until harvest season is complete and they can prove their annual yields and Reuss says the recent weather hasn’t been helping that effort.
Reuss says 2019 is projected to be a tough year for Marinette County farmers as they struggle to get operating loans from banks and may ultimately be forced to give up some of the land they previously farmed.