Though it initially did not appear to include funding for cover crops, it was announced on July 1 that farmers prevented from planting corn or soybeans can now sow a cover crop and still be eligible to receive federal trade assistance through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP). This aid is in addition to crop insurance payments on those acres.
The change in policy on cover crops from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is one of several allowances the agency has made in recent weeks to assist farmers in the Midwest.
MFP was created to help offset growers’ losses as a result of the recent, international tariffs on U.S. goods. USDA has targeted a little over $14 billion in MFP 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.