WORTHINGTON, Ohio – USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced June 11 that unplanted acres will not qualify for 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments. However, USDA is considering a minimal per acre market facilitation payment to farmers who filed prevent plant and chose to plant an MFP-eligible cover crop, with the potential to be harvested and for subsequent use of those cover crops for forage.
The 2019 MFP was announced by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in May and will provide up to $14.5 billion in direct payments to farmers who grow commodities affected by the trade war. However, many administrative details were yet to be determined at that time.
OSA is encouraging Ohio farmers to speak in detail with their crop insurance agent and to stay up-to-date on the MFP as more details are announced. Additional information, documents, and a complete list of included commodities can be found at https://www.farmers.gov/manage/mfp.
Sec. Perdue said in a statement that more details would be released in the coming weeks.
Everything We Know Right Now
- Payments will be based on a single county rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings to specific crops in aggregate in 2019.
- County payment rates will be based on USDA’s assessment of the impact of tariffs on individual counties.
- Per acre payments are not dependent on which of the included crops are planted in 2019, so as not to distort planting decisions. Total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings.
- Different than the 2018 MFP, payments for 2019 will be made in three tranches, with the second and third tranches evaluated as market conditions and trade opportunities dictate. The first tranche will begin in late July or early August as soon as practical after FSA crop reporting is completed by July 15th. The second and third tranches could occur in November and early January if USDA decides they are warranted.
- Unplanted acres will not qualify for MFP payments.
What We Don’t Know
- How will USDA calculate county payment rates and what will those rates be?
- What percentage of the overall payment pool will be distributed in the first payment tranche this summer?
- Would Ohio farmers receiving MFP payments be eligible for disaster assistance from the recently passed package?
- Will there be payment options for farmers who plant an eligible cover crop for forage?
- Will USDA allow planting and normal harvest, that includes making silage and baleage, and grazing of forage crops/cover crops on prevent plant acreage for 2019 without penalty and without date restrictions?
In addition to direct payments, USDA will be implementing a $1.4 billion Food Purchase and Distribution Program through the Agricultural Marketing Service to purchase surplus commodities affected by trade retaliation. Also under MFP 2019, $100 million will be issued through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program to assist in develop new export markets on behalf of producers.
— Ohio Soybean Association
For more articles out of Ohio, click here.