Hundreds of North Dakota Farmers Union members in attendance at the organization’s 92nd state convention called on the Trump administration and USDA to immediately distribute more than $6 billion in aid designated to farmers hurt by the trade war with China.

“The Administration told us in August, when half of the $12 billion was first distributed, that a second payment would be coming ‘if warranted,’” said NDFU President Mark Watne. “I’d say soybean prices that are $2 a bushel less than a year ago, and an 80-cent increase in basis, definitely qualifies as ‘warranted.’”

In September, soybean farmers could apply for 82.5 cents a bushel compensation through the Market Facilitation Program, based on actual production. While welcomed income, Watne said the amount wasn’t enough to offset price losses. “The Administration promised to hold farmers harmless in this trade war. While it’s great to see sales starting to pick up with China, it doesn’t fix the here and now or the damage that’s been done.”

NDFU members in a special order of business today said, “The continued loss of markets that had been secured by many years of established relations will be either lost or will take substantial time to regain. Without these payments, family farmers may endure years of low prices and lower crop insurance coverage as a result of the trade war.”