“We applaud USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue for extending the deadline for the Market Facilitation Program,” said Michigan Farm Bureau National Legislative Counsel, John Kran. “This should provide farmers with some much-needed breathing room to get into FSA offices, once they re-open, to complete their applications.”
Since the lapse in federal funding caused the closure of USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices at the end of business on Dec. 28, 2018, farmers have been unable to apply for the program.
“We will extend the application deadline for a period of time equal to the number of business days FSA offices were closed, once the government shutdown ends,” Perdue said in a statement. “Farmers who have already applied for the program and certified their 2018 production have continued to receive payments.”
The MFP, designed to assist farmers impacted by unjustified retaliatory tariffs from foreign nations, has been making payments directly to farmers who have suffered trade damage. Perdue said USDA had kept county FSA offices open as long as possible to assist farmers in completing the MFP application, but had to close them when funding ran out.
“I continue to urge members of Congress to redouble their efforts to pass an appropriations bill that President Trump will sign and end the lapse in funding so that we may again provide full services to our farmers,” Perdue said.