Penny for your corn? Stingy trade-war aid irks U.S. farmers



P.J. Huffstutter, Mark Weinraub | Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Iowa corn farmer Bob Hemesath jokes that the government check he expects as compensation for his trade-war losses will soon allow him to splurge on upscale coffee in town instead of his usual burnt gas-station brew.

Rob Sharkey, an Illinois farmer, hopes his corn trade aid check will be big enough for that margarita machine he and his wife have been eyeing – but they doubt they’ll be any left over for the booze.

Federal economists have calculated that the nation’s losses in corn – its largest crop by harvest and export volume – amount to just a penny per bushel, a pittance farmers call absurd. That’s in stark contrast to the substantial $1.65 per bushel the government will pay for lost sales of soybeans, the crop hardest hit by retaliatory Chinese tariffs in a trade war launched by U.S. President Donald Trump.

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