U of M Extension Service

Sign-up for the Market Facilitation Program is currently open. 

The Market Facilitation Program, or MFP, provides aid to assist farmers hurt by trade disruptions prompted by tariffs on their products. The USDA is authorized to provide up to $14.5 billion in direct payments through MFP for 2019 to assist impacted producers. Sign-up for the program goes through December 6, 2019.

Commodities included in the MFP are alfalfa hay, barley, canola, corn, oats, sorghum, soybeans,triticale, wheat, dairy, and hogs, among other products. To be eligible for payments, applicants also must either: have an average adjusted gross income for tax years 2015, 2016, and 2017 of less than $900,000; OR derive at least 75 percent of their adjusted gross income from farming or ranching.

Producers also must: comply with the provisions of the “Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation” regulations, often called the conservation compliance provisions AND have a farm number with USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

Payments are calculated differently by the type of commodity. For non-specialty crops, assistance is based on a single-county payment rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings of MFP-eligible crops in aggregate in 2019. A producer’s total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings.

Acreage of non-specialty crops must be planted by August 1, 2019 to be considered eligible for MFP payments. The rate for Wright County is $62. For the most part, that is comparable to neighboring counties; $44 for Stearns, $48 for Sherburne, $62 for McLeod, $60 for Meeker, $63 for Carver and $66 for Hennepin.

Dairy producers who were in business as of June 1, 2019, will receive a 20 cents 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. 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 August 1, 2019 to be considered eligible for MFP payments.

So, when can you expect a payment? The first payment will be comprised of the higher of either 50 percent of a producer’s calculated payment or $15 per acre. The first payment will be made in mid- to-late August. MFP payments will be made in up to three tranches (or portions), with the second and third tranches evaluated as market conditions and trade opportunities dictate. If conditions warrant, the second tranche will be made in November, and the third in early January.

For more information about the Market Facilitation Program, and to download the application, visit www.farmers.gov/mfp

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