USDA Launches Trade Mitigation Programs

Corn plant

USDA launched the trade mitigation package aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. Producers of certain commodities can now sign up for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP).

USDA provided details in August of the programs to be employed. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will administer the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) to provide payments to corn, cotton, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean, and wheat producers. An announcement about further payments will be made in the coming months, if warranted. USDA is currently working to determine how to address market disruptions for producers of almonds and sweet cherries.

The sign-up period for MFP is now open and runs through Jan. 15, 2019, with information and instructions provided at www.farmers.gov/mfp. MFP provides payments to cotton, corn, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean, and wheat producers who have been significantly impacted by actions of foreign governments resulting in the loss of traditional exports. Eligible producers should apply after harvest is complete, as payments will only be issued once production is reported.

A payment will be issued on 50 percent of the producer’s total production, multiplied by the MFP rate for a specific commodity. A second payment period, if warranted, will be determined by the USDA.

CommodityInitial Payment RateEst. Initial Payment** (In $1,000)
Cotton$0.06/lb.$276,900
Corn$0.01/bu.$96,000
Dairy (milk)$0.12/cwt.$127,400
Pork (Hogs)$8.00/head$290,300
Soybeans$1.65/bu.$3,629,700
Sorghum$0.86/bu.$156,800
Wheat$0.14/bu.$119,200
Total$4,696,300

**Initial payment rate on 50% of production MFP payments are limited to a combined $125,000 for corn, cotton, sorghum, soybeans, and wheat capped per person or legal entity.

MFP payments are also limited to a combined $125,000 for dairy and hog producers. Applicants must also have an average adjusted gross income for tax years 2014, 2015, and 2016 of less than $900,000. Applicants must also comply with the provisions of the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation regulations.

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