USDA announces second round of MFP payments
On Nov. 15, the USDA announced the second portion of 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage from trade retaliation by foreign nations. Producers of MFP-eligible commodities will now be eligible to receive 25% of the total payment expected, in addition to the 50% they have already received from the 2019 MFP.
MFP for 2019 is authorized under the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). The program is providing $14.5 billion in direct payments to producers.
Additionally, CCC Charter Act authority is being used to implement a $1.4 billion Food Purchase and Distribution Program (FPDP) through the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to purchase surplus commodities affected by trade retaliation such as fruits, vegetables, some processed foods, beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and milk for distribution by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to food banks, schools, and other outlets serving low-income individuals.
Finally, the CCC has used its Charter Act authority for $100 million to be issued through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) administered by the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) to assist in developing new export markets on behalf of producers.
MFP signup at local FSA offices will run through Dec. 6.
Payments will be made by the FSA under the authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act to producers of alfalfa hay, barley, canola, corn, crambe, dried beans, dry peas, extra-long staple cotton, flaxseed, lentils, long grain and medium grain rice, millet, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, rye, safflower, sesame seed, small and large chickpeas, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, temperate japonica rice, triticale, upland cotton, and wheat.
MFP assistance for these non-specialty crops is based on a single county payment rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings of MFP-eligible crops in aggregate in 2019. Those per-acre payments are not dependent on which of these crops are planted in 2019. A producer’s total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings. County payment rates range from $15 to $150 per acre, depending on the impact of trade retaliation in that county.
Dairy producers who were in business as of June 1, 2019, will receive a per hundredweight payment on Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) production history, and hog producers will receive a payment based on the number of live hogs owned on a day selected by the producer between April 1 and May 15, 2019.
MFP payments will also be made to producers of almonds, cranberries, cultivated ginseng, fresh grapes, fresh sweet cherries, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. Each specialty crop will receive a payment based on 2019 acres of fruit or nut bearing plants, or in the case of ginseng, based on harvested acres in 2019.
Acreage of non-specialty crops and cover crops had to be planted by Aug. 1, 2019, to be considered eligible for MFP payments.
Per-acre non-specialty crop county payment rates, specialty crop payment rates, and livestock payment rates are all currently available at www.farmers.gov.
This is the second of up to three rounds of MFP payments. The third portion will be evaluated as market conditions and trade opportunities dictate. If conditions warrant, the third round will be announced in January 2020.
Payment limitations apply. For more information on the MFP, visit www.farmers.gov/mfp or contact your local FSA office, which can be found at www.farmers.gov.