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USDA: 2nd Round of Trade Aid Payments on the Way; Rates Same as 1st Round

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At the direction of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today launched the second and final round of trade mitigation payments aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations.  Producers of certain commodities will now be eligible to receive Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments for the second half of their 2018 production.

“The President reaffirmed his support for American farmers and ranchers and made good on his promise, authorizing the second round of payments to be made in short order. While there have been positive movements on the trade front, American farmers are continuing to experience losses due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations.  This assistance will help with short-term cash flow issues as we move into the new year,” said Perdue. 

The National Corn Growers Association expressed disappointment that no changes were made to the rates between the first round and this one. “Farmers of all crops have felt the impact of trade tariffs,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp. “NCGA appreciates the progress the administration has made to advance ethanol, reach a new agreement with Mexico and Canada and move forward on negotiations with Japan, but the benefits of these efforts will take time to materialize and farmers are hurting now.”

“One cent per bushel is woefully inadequate to even begin to cover the losses being felt by corn farmers. USDA did not take into account the reality that many of our farmers are facing,” Chrisp added.

 

Market Facilitation Program

Producers need only sign-up once for the MFP to be eligible for the first and second payments. The MFP sign-up period opened in September and runs through January 15, 2019, with information and instructions provided at www.farmers.gov/mfp.  Producers must complete an application by January 15, 2019 but have until May 1, 2019 to certify their 2018 production.  The MFP provides payments to almond, cotton, corn, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean, fresh sweet cherry, and wheat producers who have been significantly impacted by actions of foreign governments resulting in the loss of traditional exports. The MFP is established under the statutory authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation CCC Charter Act and is under the administration of USDA’s FSA. Eligible producers should apply after harvest is complete, as payments will only be issued once production is reported.

For farmers who have already applied, completed harvest, and certified their 2018 production, a second payment will be issued on the remaining 50 percent of the producer’s total production, multiplied by the MFP rate for the specific commodity.

 

Market Facilitation Program

Commodity First and Second Payment Rate Est. Total Payment**

(in $1,000s)

Almonds (shelled) $0.03 / lb. $63,300
Cotton $0.06 / lb. $553,800
Corn $0.01 / bu. $192,000
Dairy (milk) $0.12 / cwt. $254,800
Pork (hogs) $8.00 / head $580,600
Soybeans $1.65 / bu. $7,259,400
Sorghum $0.86 / bu. $313,600
Sweet Cherries (fresh) $0.16 / lb. $111,500
Wheat $0.14 / bu. $238,400
Total $9,567,400

** Total payment rate on 100% of production

MFP payments are limited to a combined $125,000 for corn, cotton, sorghum, soybeans, and wheat capped per person or legal entity.  MFP payments are also limited to a combined $125,000 for dairy and hog producers, and a combined $125,000 for fresh sweet cherry and almond producers. Applicants must also have an average adjusted gross income for tax years 2014, 2015, and 2016 of less than $900,000. Applicants must also comply with the provisions of the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation regulations.

For more further information or to locate and contact local FSA offices, interested producers can visit www.farmers.gov.

Source: USDA Office of Communications, National Corn Growers Association