Agriculture Dept. launches 2nd round of payments to farmers

    FILE - In a Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017 file photo, Jeff Winter operates his John Deere combine near Andale, as as he harvests corn on the family farm. Corn has been dethroned as the king of crops as farmers report they intend to plant more soybeans than corn for the first time in 35 years. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in its annual prospective planting report released Thursday, March 29, 2018, that farmers intend to plant 89 million acres in soybeans and 88 million acres in corn.(Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle via AP, File)

    President Donald Trump has authorized the Agriculture Department to launch the second and final round of $11 billion in trade mitigation payments to farmers hard hit by tariffs.

    In a tweet on Monday, Trump said he is fulfilling a promise to protect farmers against "unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations."

    The Trump administration in July announced it would provide up to $12 billion to offset losses from Trump's trade disputes with China and other countries.

    The first round of checks went out in September.

    In total, producers of almonds, corn, cotton, dairy, hogs, sorghum, soybeans, fresh sweet cherries and wheat will receive roughly $9.5 billion. Soybean farmers will get the largest share.

    Roughly $1.2 billion is earmarked for a food purchase and distribution program and $200 million to promote trade.

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