Farmers affected by the tariffs on China, a major importer of top Northwest Florida crops such as soybeans and cotton, could apply for payments through the USDA program to offset their books. However, they were limited to $125,000 per farmer. This month, the Associated Press reported that 3,000 farmers received payments, and some of those producers are in the Panhandle.

Farmers in Northwest Florida recently received federal payments as part of President Donald Trump's $12 billion dollar program to aid farmers hurt by the trade dispute with China.

These payments marked the second round from the Market Facilitation Program, first announced in July 2018 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Farmers affected by the tariffs on China, a major importer of top Northwest Florida crops such as soybeans and cotton, could apply for payments through the USDA program to offset their books. However, they were limited to $125,000 per farmer. This month, the Associated Press reported that 3,000 farmers received payments, and some of those producers are in the Panhandle.

According to records provided to The Associated Press, the recent subsidy payments were meant to offset impacts on farmers from the tariffs on China from Oct. 1, 2018, to May 31, 2019, included farmers in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties.

Payments varied from county to county for many reasons, such as the size of the farm, mixture of eligible crops and trade losses for each farmer.

Santa Rosa County received the most payments between Escambia and Bay counties. But in Bay County, no farmers received payments. According to Jennifer Bearden with the Okaloosa County Branch of the University of Florida’s Extension Service, this could be because of the range in commodities between each county.

In Okaloosa County, Bearden said soybeans are one of the biggest commodities, and many of the payments went to producers of soybeans, cotton, corn and wheat. Julie McConnell, Bay County's extension agent, said they have more hobby farms than commercial farms and produce more timber than other commodities.

Bearden said the tariffs magnify issues farmers already have to face such as weather and pests, which Bearden said are worse this year because of the short winter.

The tariffs have affected many farmers looking to purchase new equipment, according to John Atkins, the extension agent in Santa Rosa County.

Atkins said he spoke with a farmer producing vegetables who was considering purchasing other equipment to make his process more efficient. The piece of equipment was made from steel, came from China and cost $4,000 at the time. But because of the tariffs, an extra $1,500 was tacked onto the price.

"It affects prices, no doubt," Atkins said.

The largest payment in 2019 went to Marshall Farms in Okaloosa County at more than $54,000, according to documents.

In Florida, the commodity payments included corn, cotton, dairy, hogs, sorghum, soybeans and wheat. Cotton was the most paid commodity.