In a highly anticipated move, the USDA announced the 2019 Market Facilitation Program details this morning. The MFP is the program USDA has developed to help offset some of the losses incurred by farmers as a result of the ongoing trade dispute and tariffs between the US and other countries.
This time the program is a bit different than the last. The program is solely based on the number of acres that have been planted without regard to WHAT was planted in 2019. The farmer simply had to plant one of the covered commodities that include both non-specialty and specialty crops. This was done so as to not influence planting decisions. The payment is county based meaning that each county will potentially have a different payment per acre planted.
The payment rate per county was based on a formula that weighed the impact to various crops and the amount of those crops planted in a county relative to the other commodities planted in that county historically. For example a county with a high corn history but few beans acres historically would have a fairly low payment per acre because the tariff impact to corn is understood as fairly low. Conversely, a heavy cotton or soybean county in relation to corn would have a high payment rate. In fact many heavy cotton counties in the Southeast are maxed out. The payment rate is between $15 and $150 per acre planted and certified in 2019.
The sign-up for the program will begin on Monday July 29, 2019 with the first half of the payments coming in mid to late August.
One of the major changes from the previous program was the increase in the payment limit for this program. In the 2018 program it was $125,000 but it has been doubled to $250,000 for this one. There is also a means test. All of these details as well as the payment rates for each county can be found by following this link. It will take you to a USDA page with all the information you need to get started.
Sorry for the late delivery of this message but I have been traveling all day and just got a chance to write it up.