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Farmers to feds: $432M not enough; state GOP offers $40M plan

Wisconsin farmers received more than $432 million from a federal Market Facilitation Program last year, but many farmers say it wasn’t enough to cover losses from tariffs placed on dairy and agricultural products.

According to a Wisconsin State Journal article based on data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, farmers received payments that varied widely — from more than $850,000 down to $2 — between September 2018 and November 2019.

More than 2,600 Wisconsin farmers, who often rely on USDA operating loans that typically must be paid back in a year, received less than $1,000. Meanwhile, the Badger State leads the nation in farm bankruptcies and in 2019 lost three farms every day.

The U.S. states receiving the most farm aid were in the South.

In a related story, the Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Agriculture could vote Wednesday on Republican legislation that includes five farm bills and would cost state taxpayers about $40 million.

According to a story in the Wisconsin State Journal, the GOP proposal would amend portions of Gov. Tony Evers’ plan, offer health insurance deductions, and provide farmers with a potential tax credit of up to 66 percent of property taxes for farm buildings. The credit would sunset after three years.

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