USDA is making up to $16 billion in trade-related assistance available for farmers this year. NDFB President Daryl Lies appreciates the efforts by the administration to improve market availability. However, Lies says there is concern with government payments causing market distortion. “Is now the right time to be talking about it before the crop is even in the ground and much less harvested? We’ve seen market moves lately, and so we’d like the free market to play out a little bit first.” Trade negotiations with China and Japan are another piece to the current market puzzle. Lies says the negative basis situation in North Dakota extends beyond any trade deal. “Our neighbors to the south in parts of Iowa, South Dakota and southern Minnesota are at an even money or even positive basis for corn and soybeans because of local use,” says Lies. “Ethanol is one factor, but so are feedlots, pig barns and poultry barns.”
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