USDA announces MFP payment rates | Michigan Farm News

USDA announces MFP payment rates

Category: Crops

by Farm News Media; USDA

USDA_MFP_MFN_7.25.19
“China and other nations have not played by the rules for a long time, and President Trump is the first President to stand up to them and send a clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate unfair trade practices,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the long-awaited details of the $16 billion package aimed at supporting American agricultural producers while the Administration continues to work on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals today.

(See County-by-County MFP payment rates for Michigan - click here.)

The Market Facilitation Program (MFP), Food Purchase and Distribution Program (FPDP), and Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) will assist agricultural producers while President Donald Trump works to address long-standing market access barriers according to Perdue.

“China and other nations have not played by the rules for a long time, and President Trump is the first President to stand up to them and send a clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate unfair trade practices,” Perdue said.

“The details we announced today ensure farmers will not stand alone in facing unjustified retaliatory tariffs while President Trump continues working to solidify better and stronger trade deals around the globe.

“Our team at USDA reflected on what worked well and gathered feedback on last year’s program to make this one even stronger and more effective for farmers. Our farmers work hard, are the most productive in the world, and we aim to match their enthusiasm and patriotism as we support them.”

Michigan Farm Bureau Field Crops Specialist Theresa Sisung said while USDA’s MFP payments may not cover all of the economic losses for farmers, due to trade disruptions, it will certainly provide some financial relief to a struggling farm economy and supporting industry’s throughout rural Michigan.

“As Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue stressed in today’s announcement, this program is not designed to make farmers whole from the trade disruption,” Sisung said. “But this assistance will certainly help farmers weather some of the financial impacts from the current trade disputes that producers have no control over, beyond suffering the consequences of lost revenue and worldwide market share.”

Signup and Eligible Commodities

According to Sisung, Michigan producers can begin the MFP signup process at their local FSA county offices starting on Monday, July 29, with enrollment open through Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Payments will be made by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) under the authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act to producers of alfalfa hay, barley, canola, corn, dry beans, dry peas, lentils, millet, mustard seed, oats, rapeseed, rye, sesame seed, small and large chickpeas, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, triticale, 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, according to Perdue.

A producer’s total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings. County payment rates range from $15 to $150 per acre nationwide, depending on the impact of unjustified trade retaliation in that county.

Livestock Producers 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.

MFP payments will also be made to producers of almonds, cranberries, cultivated ginseng, fresh grapes, fresh sweet cherries, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. Each specialty crop will receive a payment based on 2019 acres of fruit or nut bearing plants, or in the case of ginseng, based on harvested acres in 2019.

MFP Payment Dates, AGI and Limits

MFP payments will be made in up-to three tranches, with the second and third tranches evaluated as market conditions and trade opportunities dictate. 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.

If conditions warrant, the second and third tranches will be made in November and early January, respectively.

MFP 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. However, no applicant can receive more than $500,000.

Eligible applicants must also have an average adjusted gross income (AGI) for tax years 2014, 2015, and 2016 of less than $900,000, or 75 percent of the person’s or legal entity’s average AGI for tax years 2014, 2015, and 2016 must have been derived from farming and ranching. Applicants must also comply with the provisions of the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation regulations.

In June, H.R. 2157, the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019, was signed into law by President Trump, requiring a change to the first round of MFP assistance provided in 2018. Producers previously deemed ineligible for MFP in 2018 because they had an average AGI level higher than $900,000 may now be eligible for 2018 MFP benefits.

Those producers must be able to verify 75 percent or more of their average AGI was derived from farming and ranching to qualify. This supplemental MFP signup period will run parallel to the 2019 MFP signup, from July 29 through Dec. 6, 2019.

Prevent Plant Acre Eligibility

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.

Sisung stressed that producers understand the critical Aug. 1, cover crop planting date for MFP eligibility.

“Farmers were incredibly challenged by this spring weather resulting in abnormally higher prevent plant acres,” she said. “Growers need to make sure to get a cover crop put in before the first of August.”

For more information on the MFP, visit www.farmers.gov/mfp or contact your local FSA office, which can be found at www.farmers.gov.

Payment Rate Calculations

Assistance through the Market Facilitation Program 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 nationwide, depending on the impact of unjustified trade retaliation in that county.

County payment rates for Michigan ranged from the $15 minimum for many northern counties to a maximum of $68 per acre for Macomb County.

For more information on MFP, including rates for specialty crops, nuts, dairy (milk) and hogs, visit http://www.farmers.gov/mfp

Click here for Michigan: County-by-County MFP Rates