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MFP Payments Coming Before Thanksgiving

By Todd Neeley
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) — The Trump administration announced a second tranche of 2019 Market Facilitation Program payments on Friday. According to a USDA news release, payments will begin the week before Thanksgiving.

MFP for 2019 is providing $14.5 billion in direct payments to producers, meaning the second tranche will be for about $7.8 billion.

Under MFP2, USDA so far has paid out $6.69 billion to 564,181 producers. USDA reports the top five states for payments are Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Minnesota. The 2018 MFP paid out $8.6 billion to more than 1 million farmers.

Producers of MFP-eligible commodities will now be eligible to receive 25% of the total payment expected, in addition to the 50% they have already received from the 2019 MFP.

“This second tranche of 2019 MFP payments, along with already provided disaster assistance, will give farmers, who have had a tough year due to unfair trade retaliation and natural disasters, much needed funds in time for Thanksgiving,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a news release.

“President Trump has shown time and again that he is fighting for America’s farmers and ranchers. While we continue to have confidence in the president’s negotiations with China, this money shows President Trump following through on his promise to help and support farmers as he continues to fight for fair market access.”

MFP signup at Farm Service Agency offices will run through Dec. 6, 2019.

Payments will be made by FSA to producers of alfalfa hay, barley, canola, corn, crambe, dried beans, dry peas, extra-long staple cotton, flaxseed, lentils, long-grain and medium-grain rice, millet, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, rye, safflower, sesame seed, small and large chickpeas, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, temperate japonica rice, triticale, upland cotton and wheat.

MFP assistance is based on a single county payment rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings of MFP-eligible crops in aggregate in 2019, according to the USDA news release. Per-acre payments are not dependent on which crops are planted in 2019. A producer’s total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings. County payment rates range from $15 to $150 per acre, depending on the effects of trade retaliation in that county.

According to USDA, dairy producers who were in business as of June 1, 2019, will receive a per hundredweight payment on Dairy Margin Coverage production history, and hog producers will receive a payment based on the number of live hogs owned on a day selected by the producer between April 1 and May 15, 2019.

Acreage of non-specialty crops and cover crops had to be planted by Aug. 1, 2019, to be considered eligible for MFP payments.

Per-acre non-specialty crop county payment rates, specialty-crop payment rates, and livestock payment rates are all currently available on www.farmers.gov.

USDA said it may issue a third tranche of payments in January 2020, depending on market conditions as well as trade opportunities.

MFP payments are limited to a combined $250,000 for non-specialty crops per person or legal entity, according to USDA. MFP payments are also limited to a combined $250,000 for dairy and hog producers and a combined $250,000 for specialty crop producers. No applicant can receive more than $500,000.

According to USDA, eligible applicants must also have an average adjusted gross income for tax years 2015, 2016 and 2017 of less than $900,000 unless at least 75% of the person’s or legal entity’s AGI is derived from farming, ranching, or forestry -related activities. Applicants must also comply with the provisions of the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation regulations.

Farmers who filed a prevented planting claim and planted an FSA-certified cover crop with the potential to be harvested, qualify for a $15-per-acre payment.

For more information on MFP payments go to

http://www.farmers.gov/…

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @toddneeleyDTN

(CZ/SK)

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