USDA plans to authorize up to $12 billion in programs to help farmers meet the costs of disrupted commodity markets. The aid package has three parts: a Market Facilitation (or direct payment) Program, a Food Purchase and Distribution Program and a Trade Promotion Program. However, NDFB President Daryl Lies has some uncertainty. “Any time you come out with this kind of a direct payment, is it going to distort markets?” asks Lies. “Is it going to keep those buying our commodities from aggressively buying? They could just sit back because they know farmers will get a check in the mail from the government. So, they think farmers will sell at a cheaper price.” Direct payments could come as soon as late September. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the Department will know more about direct payment formulas later this month. Starting September 4, farmers can apply for the assistance.