Market News & Headlines >> USDA Details 2019 MFP Calculations

USDA on Friday published the details of how it calculated the estimated damages from trade disruptions for its 2019 support package for farmers and provided an accounting of support rates for individual commodities. 

In a press release, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist developed an estimate of gross trade damages for commodities with retaliatory tariffs assessed by China, India, the European Union, and Turkey to set commodity payment rates and purchase levels. USDA employed the same approach often used in adjudicating World Trade Organization trade dispute cases. 

Given the timing of the 2019 Market Facilitation Payment (MFP) program during the crop year, in order to minimize potential distortions, USDA developed a single rate per acre in each county for MFP-eligible non-specialty crops, which include select non-specialty commodities both directly and indirectly affected by the trade dispute,. 

A report published on the website of USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) outlines the formulas used to calculate MFP county rates for non-specialty crops, as well as national MFP rates for specialty crops, hogs, and milk. 

The county rates are based on specific commodity rates derived from the gross trade damage estimates. Non-specialty crops commodity rates for the 2019 MFP program were reported as follows: 

  • Soybeans: $2.05 per bushel
  • Cotton: $0.26 per pound
  • Sorghum: $1.69 per bushel
  • Corn: $0.14 per bushel
  • Wheat: $0.41 per bushel
  • Rice: $0.63 per hundredweight
  • Peanuts: $0.01 per pound
  • Lentils: $3.99 per hundredweight
  • Peas: $0.85 per hundredweight
  • Alfalfa Hay: $2.81 per ton
  • Dried Beans: $8.22 per hundredweight
  • Chickpeas: $1.48 per hundredweight

The national MFP rate for hogs amounts to $11 per head, while the rate for dairy products amounts to 20 cents per pound, according to the OCE report.