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Farmers Union questions program payments

North Dakota Farmers Union is calling the planned distribution of $6 billion to farmers hurt by trade tariffs a Band-Aid approach to economic devastation.

Mark Watne, president of the North Dakota Farmers Union, said "farmers are having to pay for a trade war they didn't ask for" in a press release issued Wednesday.

The planned distribution would reimburse soybean farmers $1.65 per bushel on half of the their crop. Farmers producing corn, wheat and hogs would receive lesser payments. Watne said the structure of the program, paying farmers for half of their production, makes the program seem more beneficial than it is.

"The compensation isn't enough to offset losses," Watne said, "making the ongoing drop in farm income even worse."

The program begins Sept. 4. Farmers raising soybeans, corn, wheat, sorghum, cotton, hogs and dairy are eligible to apply. Half of the proposed $12 billion program is being held and may be used in a second payment at a later date.