Farmer’s Union calls for payments

BISMARCK, N.D. - The White House says a trade deal with China is set to be signed in just a few weeks. The negotiations have put a burden on farmers and paired with poor weather continues to dog producer's finances. Some are now calling for action.

With the ground finally hard enough for combines to cut fields and end the harvest season approaching, the struggle for farmers continues.

To assist farmers hurt by the trade dispute with China, the White House organized the Market Facilitation Program, which would reimburse producers for their financial losses caused by the trade war.

"A lot of farmers structured their payments in the business-financial world based on having some crop in the bin and getting some opportunity to sell some product. Without that happening, they really need cash at this moment in time," said North Dakota Farmer's Union President Mark Watne.

Now, farmers are preparing for the straw that breaks the camel's back. Which is why the North Dakota Farmer's Union has been working to push the schedule up.

"Farmers are feeling that pressure, and we have just a lot of anxiety out there. One thing we could help with is getting some cash in their hands to be able to deal with some of those bills coming due in the short term," Watne said.

Under the current schedule, 50 percent of the payments were sent out in September. With the final 25% installments later this month and January. The Farmer's Union is calling to expedite that process.

Sen. John Hoeven said in a statement, "I spoke with Under Secretary Northey last month about the need to get out the November tranche of MFP payments as early as possible and to move quickly on sending disaster assistance."

Hoeven will be hosting Northey this Friday on this issue.

Farmers carry a lot of interest on equipment and loan costs. So even a month's acceleration for the payments, could mean thousands of dollars