USDA announced some details including payment rates for the 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) which will begin with sign-ups at FSA offices on Monday, July 29, 2019. Timelines for MFP payments are critical for items such as the timely planting of cover crops on prevented planting acres by August 1, 2019. Payments are calculated differently by the type of commodity.
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.
Dairy, Hogs, and Specialty Crops
Dairy producers who were in business as of June 1, 2019, will receive a per hundredweight payment on 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.
For specialty crops, producers will receive a payment based on 2019 acres of fruit or nut bearing plants.
- Dairy (milk): $0.20 per hundredweight
- Hogs: $11 per head
- Nuts: $146 per acre
- Cranberries: $.03 per pound at 21,371 pounds per acre
- Ginseng: $2.85 per pound at 2,000 pounds per acre
- Sweet cherries (fresh): $0.17 per pound at 9,148 pounds per acre
- Table grapes: $0.03 per pound at 20,820 pounds per acre
Producers affected by natural disasters who filed prevented planting claims then planted an MFP-eligible cover crop, with the potential to be harvested or for subsequent use as forage, qualify for a $15 per acre payment. Acreage of cover crops must be planted by August 1, 2019 to be considered eligible for MFP payments.
The first payment will be comprised of the higher of either 50 percent of a producer’s calculated payment or $15 per acre. The first payment will be made in mid-to-late August.
MFP payments will be made in up to three tranches (or portions), with the second and third tranches evaluated as market conditions and trade opportunities dictate. If conditions warrant, the second tranche will be made in November, and the third in early January.
Check with your local USDA-FSA office for more information and to apply for the MFP payments. The USDA website Farmers.gov has more information.