The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released details of the 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments announced by the Trump Administration in May. MPF will provide up to $14.5 billion to producers in up to three tranches starting with a first round of payments this August.
Payment rates vary by county from $15 to $150 per acre based on USDA’s calculated damages from tariffs in each individual county affected — most in the $50 to $75 range per acre, according to USDA. That single-county rate will be multiplied by a farm’s total planted acreage for all MFP-eligible crops in aggregate for 2019, not to exceed total 2018 plantings. The county rates for Ohio can be found here.
In addition, dairy producers who were in business as of June 1, 2019, will receive a 20-cent per hundredweight payment on production history, and hog producers will receive an $11 per head payment based on the number of live hogs owned on a day selected by the producer between April 1 and May 15, 2019.
For cover crops, producers affected by natural disasters who filed prevented planting claims then planted an MFP-eligible cover crop, with the potential to be harvested or for subsequent use as forage, qualify for a $15 per acre payment. Acreage of cover crops must be planted by Aug. 1, 2019 to be considered eligible for MFP payments.
Sign-up for farmers with eligible crops begins Monday, July 29, with those who are first to sign up expected to receive an initial payment equal to 50% of what they are eligible for in mid to late August. Second and third payments, each equal to 25% of the total qualifying payment, are slated for November 2019 and January 2020 contingent upon market conditions and trade opportunities. Producers can continue to sign up through Dec. 6, 2019.
Farmers who earn 75% or more of their income from agriculture will be eligible for up to the $250,000 MFP payment limit and retroactively eligible for up to the $125,000 payment limit for the 2018 program. MFP payments are limited to a combined $250,000 for non-specialty crops per person or legal entity and a combined $250,000 for hog or dairy farmers per person or legal entity. No applicant can receive more than $500,000 total.
In May, President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a relief strategy in line with the estimated impacts of unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods and other trade disruptions. The MFP, Food Purchase and Distribution Program (FPDP), and Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) will assist agricultural producers while President Trump works to address long-standing market access barriers.
“China and other nations have not played by the rules for a long time, and President Trump is the first President to stand up to them and send a clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate unfair trade practices,” Secretary Perdue said. “The details we announced today ensure farmers will not stand alone in facing unjustified retaliatory tariffs while President Trump continues working to solidify better and stronger trade deals around the globe.