Trade, the Market Facilitation Program and disaster assistance were just a few of the topics Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue addressed at the Farm Bureau convention in Austin, Texas. Perdue was asked if farmers could navigate 2020 without a new Market Facilitation Program. “You remember the cry of we want trade, not aid,” said Perdue. “We’re hoping and expecting that trade (with China) to develop soon enough that a Market Facilitation Program will not be needed. It may be the summer or fall when we see the full benefit of that $40 to $50 billion.” Farmers in the Dakotas and Minnesota are preparing for a challenging spring, as soils are saturated and crops remain in fields. The Red River Farm Network asked Perdue if these weather challenges are on USDA’s radar. “I think we’ll be prepared,” replied Perdue. “Obviously Congress is well aware of the challenges. (AFBF) Vice President (Scott) VanderWal has talked to me about the freezing/flooding and what it takes to get the soil prepared. We’ll be looking at that as we go along.” Listen to more in this RRFN story and view the news conference with Perdue here.