USDA shed some light on the 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) Thursday. After months of uncertainty and murky details, the agency announced per acre payments will vary by county but will range from $15 to $150.
Payments will be made by the Farm Service Agency (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 those 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. County payment rates range from $15 to $150 per acre, depending on the impact of unjustified trade retaliation in that county. See a full list of county rates here. A producer’s total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings.
Acreage of non-specialty crops and cover crops must be planted by August 1, 2019 to be considered eligible for MFP payments.
Dairy & Hogs
Dairy producers who were in business as of June 1, 2019, will receive a $0.20 per hundredweight payment on production history, and hog producers will receive an $11 per head payment based on the number of live hogs owned on a day selected by the producer between April 1 and May 15, 2019.
Sign Up & Eligibility Details
MFP signup at local FSA offices will run from Monday, July 29 through Friday, December 6, 2019.
MFP payments will be made in up to three waves, with the second and third tranches evaluated as market conditions and trade opportunities dictate. The first tranche will be comprised of the higher of either 50% of a producer’s calculated payment or $15 per acre, which may reduce potential payments to be made in tranches two or three. USDA will begin making first tranche payments in mid-to-late August.
MFP payments are limited to a combined $250,000 for non-specialty crops per person or legal entity. MFP payments are also limited to a combined $250,000 for dairy and hog producers and a combined $250,000 for specialty crop producers. However, no applicant can receive more than $500,000.
The AGI limits are slightly different this year. Eligible applicants must also have an average adjusted gross income (AGI) for tax years 2014, 2015, and 2016 of less than $900,000 or, 75% of the person’s or legal entity’s average AGI for tax years 2014, 2015, and 2016 must have been derived from farming and ranching.
As usual, applicants must also comply with the provisions of the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation regulations.
If conditions warrant, the second and third tranches will be made in November and early January, respectively.
“China and other nations have not played by the rules for a long time, and President Trump is the first President to stand up to them and send a clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate unfair trade practices,” Secretary Perdue said. “The details we announced today ensure farmers will not stand alone in facing unjustified retaliatory tariffs while President Trump continues working to solidify better and stronger trade deals around the globe.”