Farmers can expect the third and final round of 2019 trade aid payments to hit their bank accounts by the end of this week.
The payments will make up the final 25% of the payments producers were due under the Market Facilitation Program.
“It’s been a great start to 2020 for American agriculture with the signing of the historic 'phase one' deal with China and the signing of USMCA,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Monday in announcing release of the remaining 2019 MFP payments.
Perdue has said that farmers should not count on the MFP being repeated in 2020. It was created in 2018 to assist farmers who were hurt financially by Chinese retaliatory tariffs.
Last year was a tough year for farmers, “as they were the tip of the spear when it came to unfair trade retaliation," Perdue said.
MFP made up the bulk of $16 billion in USDA trade assistance that the White House authorized in 2019. Some $14.5 billion was designated for direct payments to farmers through the MFP. Some $1.4 billion went for purchase of commodities to be distributed through the Agricultural Marketing Service. The remaining $100 million was earmarked for trade promotion efforts.
“We appreciate the administration’s work to get this MFP payment out, which will help provide an important bridge for our producers while the trade agreements and agriculture purchases get going,” Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D. said Monday.
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Here are additional details, as outlined by USDA:
Payments will be made 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. MFP assistance for these 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 these 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, depending on the impact of unjustified trade retaliation in that county.
Dairy producers who were in business as of June 1, 2019, will receive a per hundredweight payment on Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) 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.
Acreage of non-specialty crops and cover crops had to be planted by August 1, 2019 to be considered eligible for MFP payments.
Per-acre non-specialty crop county payment rates, specialty crop payment rates, and livestock payment rates are all currently available on farmers.gov.
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