Farmers who were prevented from planting cash crops due to extremely wet weather will be able to stay eligible for the Market Facilitation Program by planting cover crops. The official announcement was made during a Monday press conference by Natural Resources Conservation Service boss Matthew Lohr. USDA has targeted a little over $14 billion in payments for the 2019 growing season in order to ease the impact the ongoing trade dispute with China is having on U.S. farmers. The first of three rounds of payments is due in either late July or early August. Risk Management Agency Chief of Staff Keith Gray says prevent plant filing has already been brisk, with a total of $151 million already paid out.
“A billion dollars in payments in not out of the realm of possibility as we get the final notice of loss closer to the end of July,” Gray said. The Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced special signups in eight states for cost-share assistance to plant cover crops under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Those states include Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. NRCS chief Lohr says he expects that number of states will likely grow in the near future.