USDA Assistance Available for Producers Impacted by Trade Disputes

On July 25, President Trump and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the details of the second round of the Market Facilitation Program (MFP). The ‘trade aid’ package is designed to help producers recoup losses from markets disrupted by trade instability. The president has authorized USDA to provide $16 billion to support American agricultural producers while the administration continues working to finalize free and fair trade deals.

 

Assistance Information from USDA:

 

Those eligible for MFP assistance can sign up at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office from Monday, July 29, 2019, through Friday, December 6, 2019. Click here for FSA office locations in South Dakota.

 

MFP: 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 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. 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.

 

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. 

 

MFP payments will be made in up-to three tranches, with the second and third tranches evaluated as market conditions and trade opportunities dictate. If conditions warrant, the second and third tranches will be made in November and early January, respectively. The first tranche will be comprised of the higher of either 50 percent 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.

 

Food Purchase and Distribution Program: $1.4 billion will be used 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 to food banks, schools, and other outlets serving low-income individuals.

 

Agricultural Trade Promotion Program: The Agricultural Trade Promotion Program will provide cost-share assistance to eligible U.S. organizations for activities such as consumer advertising, public relations, point-of-sale demonstrations, participation in trade fairs and exhibits, market research and technical assistance.

 

Eligibility Information:

  • 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.
  • No applicant can receive more than $500,000.
  • Eligible applicants must have an average adjusted gross income for tax years 2014, 2015 and 2016 of less than $900,000.
  • 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 MPF payment.
  • County payment rates range from $15 to $150 per acre, depending on the impact of unjustified trade retaliation in that county. If you’d like to find out your county rate, go to: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/market-facilitation-program/index

More information on the MFP and other assistance programs can be found HERE.