Market Facilitation Update

The fall & spring of 2019 were one of the most challenging in recent history regarding uncertainty in Agriculture Policy.  The lobbying effort for the passage of the Farm Bill, the WHIP disaster approval, MFP, cover cropping changes, and trade tariffs has been challenging.  Our office has been involved weekly since January on conference calls, meetings, and emails to give input and discussion on the needs of our farmers.  The announcement today by the USDA is the culmination of talks starting last September for a 2nd round and then weekly inputs from Heritage starting around February-April.  I have attached the link for the county rate payments per planted acre. Remember, this is a county rate based on the last 4 years of planting mix, 4 years of county average yields, and commodity price per county taking into account market conditions such as basis (courtesy of Senator Hoeven). If you have any questions on anything regarding this update please call the office at your earliest convince.

Click for payment rates by County

The payment cap for the MFP Program is $250,000

Sign-up Begins July 29

Sign-up for the program begins Monday, July 29 and ends December 6, 2019.

How to Apply

Applications will be available beginning Monday, July 29.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced May 23, 2019 that USDA would again provide aid to assist farmers hurt by trade disruptions prompted by unjustified foreign retaliatory tariffs on their products through MFP. President Trump authorized USDA to provide up to $14.5 billion in direct payments through MFP for 2019 to assist impacted producers, which is in line with the estimated impacts of the retaliatory tariffs on – and non-tariff barriers to exports of – U.S. agricultural goods.

Who Is Eligible?

MFP provides payments to eligible producers of:

  • Non-specialty crops, including 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.
  • Specialty crops, including almonds, cranberries, cultivated ginseng, fresh grapes, fresh sweet cherries, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts.
  • Dairy and hogs.

How Do Payments Work?

MFP provides payments to eligible producers of covered commodities, which includes non-specialty crops, specialty crops, dairy, and livestock.

To be eligible for payments, applicants also must either:

  • have an average adjusted gross income for tax years 2014, 2015, and 2016 of less than $900,000; or
  • derive at least 75 percent of their adjusted gross income from farming or ranching.

Producers also must:

  • comply with the provisions of the “Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation” regulations, often called the conservation compliance provisions.
  • have a farm number with USDA’s Farm Service Agency.
  • Non-specialty Crops
  • For non-specialty crops, assistance 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 those 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 unjustified trade retaliation in that county. Acreage of non-specialty must be planted by August 1, 2019 to be considered eligible for MFP payments.

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