Study: More than half of Trump farm aid went to biggest farms

Study: More than half of Trump farm aid went to biggest farms
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More than half of farm bailout payments meant to alleviate the effects of the U.S.'s ongoing trade war with China went to bigger, wealthier farms, according to a study from the Environmental Working Group.

The analysis of the first two rounds of the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) found that through April, payments for 2018-2019 totaled $8.4 billion.

The top 10 percent of recipients received 54 percent of all payments, with 82 farmers thus far receiving over $500,000 in MFP payments, according to the study.

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The analysis also found that the top 1 percent of recipients were rewarded an average of $183,331, with the bottom 80 percent receiving less than $5,000 on average and minority farmers continuing to see little benefit from the program.

MFP payments were previously linked to crop production, with the Department of Agriculture initially announcing a $125,00 cap on payments, but the limit has seldom been practically applied due to rules that allow relatives who do not contribute meaningful work to the farm to receive payments, according to the Environmental Working Group.

“Changes to the second round of MFP payments, announced last week by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue, will further favor the largest farmers by linking payments to the number of acres, not the number of bushels or bales produced,” the report states. “The bigger the farm, the bigger the government check.”

The Department of Agriculture did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.