Producers hampered by poor harvest weather conditions will have an additional 16 days to certify their 2018 crop production for Market Facilitation Program payments.
USDA announced the decision Monday after Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue revealed the news over the weekend in North Dakota. Producers now have until May 17 to report their crop production to USDA offices; the previous deadline was May 1.
Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce said unfavorable weather played a role in the extension decision.
“Weather conditions this fall, winter and early spring have blocked many producers from completing harvest of their crops, and we want to make sure producers who want to finalize their MFP application have an opportunity,” Fordyce said in a statement.
The program, rolled out last summer to offset the impact of retaliatory tariffs placed by other countries, pays producers a set rate for certified 2018 agricultural production. Payments were made based on an administration formula to assess the impact felt by different commodities. Soybean growers, for example, receive $1.65 per bushel. MFP was part of a broader $12 billion trade mitigation package that also included food purchases and international market development funding.
This is not the first time an MFP deadline has been extended. In January, USDA extended the deadline to apply for the program after a prolonged government shutdown caused the closure of local FSA offices where producers would enroll.
According to a USDA release, more than $8.3 billion in MFP funds have been distributed to almost 600,000 applicants.
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