As we reported earlier this week, USDA has rolled out details of how they will assist farmers amidst trade turmoil that has depressed commodity prices. The Market Facilitation Program will provide direct payments to help corn, soybean, wheat, dairy and hog producers. And those producers can start the process beginning Tuesday, September 4th by going to their local FSA office.
Steve Brown, the Indiana State Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency, said they are striving to keep this process simple. “Producers are going to certify their production on 2018 yields. They’ll come in and do that for corn, soybeans, and wheat. And if they have dairy we’ll have their information already.”
They’ll have that information already because they are using the historical production reported for the Margin Protection Program for Dairy. Payment for hog operations will be based on the total number of head of live hogs on August 1.
Brown says farmers only need to come in once to certify all their production; however, they may choose to do so as production numbers are available. For example, wheat, dairy, and hog production can be certified beginning Tuesday, and then those who also grow corn and soybeans can come back in to certify those after harvest.
USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey told reporters that payments could be turned around in 10 days and Brown agrees.
“In some cases that may be too long. We might be able to get them out quicker. But maybe as we go on through the fall, we start getting some more soybean production in and corn production in, and more volume, it might take a little longer than that. But we’ll just have to see how we control the workload in our county offices.”
More information can be found at farmers.gov/mfp.