Feds pay $24 million to Idaho ag operations over trade war

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The federal government has paid $24 million to Idaho farms and dairies in an effort to help them survive financial losses caused by President Donald Trump’s trade wars.

But farmers and industry leaders across the state say the payments — ranging from $200,000 to $300,000 — don’t begin to cover what they’ve lost.

Ririe wheat farmer Gordon Gallup told the Idaho Statesman that the payments weren’t worth the drive into town. He received about $4,700 last fall.

Farms and dairies are still feeling the effects of last summer, when several countries placed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural products in response to the Trump administration’s tariffs on imported products like steel.

The first round of payments for the 2018 crop year sent $24 million to Idaho farms and their local and out-of-state owners. On Thursday, the USDA said an additional $16 billion will be distributed to U.S. farmers this year.

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