Sign-up is ongoing through Dec. 6 for the Market Facilitation Program, a U.S. Department of Agriculture program to assist farmers who continue to suffer damages because of tariffs imposed on agricultural products in response to U.S. tariffs.
Through MFP, the Agriculture Department will provide up to $14.5 billion in direct payments to farmers, part of a broader trade relief package announced in late July.
MFP payments will be made to producers of certain non-specialty and specialty crops as well as dairy and hog producers.
Non-specialty cropsMFP 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 2019 crops is based on a single county payment rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings to the 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.
Dairy and hogsDairy producers who were in business as of June 1, 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.
Specialty cropsMFP 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.
More informationPayments will be made in up to three tranches, with the second and third tranches evaluated as market conditions and trade opportunities dictate. If conditions warrant, the second and third tranches will be made in November and early January.
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 for tax years 2015, 2016, and 2017 of less than $900,000, or 75 percent of the person’s or legal entity’s average AGI for those tax years must have been derived from farming and ranching. Applicants must also comply with the provisions of the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation regulations.
For more information, visit www.farmers.gov/mfp.