Market News & Headlines >> USDA Releases 2019 MFP Program Details

U.S. farmers will receive anywhere from $15 to $150 per acre under the new $16-billion aid package designed to compensate them for damages from retaliatory tariffs, USDA officials announced on Thursday.

The first round of so-called market facilitation program (MFP) payments will be made by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) in mid- to late-August, USDA said. MFP signup at local FSA offices will run from Monday, July 29 through Friday, December 6, 2019. 

The new aid program will feature a single payment rate per county, based on the estimated damages in that area, that will be multiplied by a farm’s total 2019 plantings of commodity crops. Those per-acre payments are not dependent on which of those crops are planted in 2019. USDA has published county payment rates here

MFP payments will be made in up to three tranches, with the second and third tranches to be paid out in November and early January if market conditions and trade opportunities dictate, USDA said.  The first tranch of MFP payments will be comprised of the greater of 50% 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. 

Acreage of non-specialty crops and cover crops must be planted by August 1, 2019 to be considered eligible for MFP payments. 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. 

Payments will be made by the FSA 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. 

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 they owned on a day selected by the producer between April 1 and May 15, 2019.