From Cotton Grower Magazine
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced the third and final tranche of 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations.
Payments will begin to show up in farmers’ bank accounts by the end of this week.
“It’s been a great start to 2020 for American Agriculture with the signing of the historic Phase One Deal with China and the signing of USMCA,” said Secretary Perdue. “While these agreements are welcome news, we must not forget that 2019 was a tough year for farmers, as they were the tip of the spear when it came to unfair trade retaliation. President Trump has shown time and again that he is fighting for America’s farmers and ranchers, and this third tranche of 2019 MFP payments is proof.”
This is the final of three tranches of MFP payments for 2019. The first tranche was 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 tranche three. The second tranche was 25% of the total payment expected, in addition to the 50% from the first tranche.
Third tranche payments will be made by FSA, under the authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act, to producers of 27 grain and non-specialty crops, including upland and extra-long staple cotton. MFP assistance for these 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, and a producer’s total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings.
Producers who filed a prevented planting claim and planted an FSA-certified cover crop – with the potential to be harvested – qualify for a $15 per acre payment. Acres that were never planted in 2019 are not eligible for an MFP payment.
Acreage of non-specialty crops and cover crops had to be planted by August 1, 2019 to be considered eligible for MFP payments. County payment rates range from $15 to $150 per acre, depending on the impact of trade retaliation in that county.
MFP payments will also be made to producers of specialty crops based on 2019 acres of fruit or nut bearing plants – or 2019 harvested acres for ginseng. 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.
Per-acre non-specialty crop county payment rates, specialty crop payment rates, and livestock payment rates are all currently available online at Farmers.gov.
MFP payments are limited to a combined $250,000 for non-specialty crops per person or legal entity, dairy and hog producers and specialty crop producers. No applicant can receive more than $500,000. Eligible applicants must also have an average adjusted gross income (AGI) for tax years 2015, 2016 and 2017 of less than $900,000 unless at least 75% percent of the person’s or legal entity’s AGI comes from farming, ranching or forestry related activities. Applicants must also comply with the provisions of the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation regulations.
More information on the MFP, plus the location of your local FSA office, can be found online.