Q&A: USDA Market Facilitation Program

Q&A: USDA Market Facilitation Program

Starting today, producers of agricultural commodities directly impacted by escalating trade conflicts and tariffs can sign up for the new USDA Market Facilitation Program. This program is administered through the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Qualifying producers can sign up from September 4, 2018 through January 15, 2019.

Following is a short Q&A to address some of the questions growers have been asking about this program.

What commodities are covered and what is the payment for each of these?

Corn ($0.01/bu); cotton ($0.06/lb); dairy ($0.12/cwt); hogs ($8/head on the farm on August 1, 2018); sorghum ($0.86/bu); soybeans ($1.65/bu); and wheat ($0.14/bu).

How are payments calculated?

A payment will be issued on the first 50% of the producer’s total 2018 production of the commodity after production is certified with FSA. On or about December 3, 2018, the CCC (Commodity Credit Corporation) will announce a second payment rate, if applicable, that will apply to the remaining 50% of the producer’s production. The second payment, if available, may be issued using a different MFP payment rate.

How do I document production?

Dairy production will be based on historical production reported for the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy). Live hog inventory on August 1, 2018, may include, but are not limited to breeding records, inventory records, sales receipts, rendering receipts, or veterinary records.

Crop production records will be based on actual production after harvest is complete. Documentation must be verifiable or reliable records that substantiate the reported amounts such as copies of receipts, ledgers of income, income statements of deposit slips, register tapes, invoices for custom harvesting, and records to verify production costs, contemporaneous measurements, truck scale tickets, or other sources that are determined acceptable by the FSA county committee.

Who is eligible?

  • To be eligible for an MFP payment, each corn, upland cotton, sorghum, soybean, and wheat producer is required to be a person or legal entity who was actively engaged in farming in 2018.
  • A producer must be in compliance with highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation provisions, commonly referred to as the conservation compliance provisions.
  • A producer’s average adjusted gross income may not exceed $900,000.
  • Producers requesting a MFP payment must have a crop acreage report on file with FSA for MFP crop commodities.

How do I File an Application?

MFP applications and program information are available online at www.farmers.gov/MFP. Applications can be completed at a local FSA office or submitted electronically either by scanning, emailing, or faxing.

Other Considerations

Since production must be verified before payments can be made, a producer (if eligible) could apply for payments for dairy, hog or wheat production now, but would have to wait until after harvest to certify and qualify for payments on eligible fall-harvested crops. However, it may be simpler to only make one claim for all eligible commodities after harvest is completed; be sure to apply no later than the January 15, 2019 deadline.

MFP payments are capped per person or legal entity as follows:

  • A combined $125,000 for eligible crop commodities
  • A combined $125,000 for dairy production and hogs.

MFP payments do not count against other 2014 farm bill payment limitations.

For More Information

Go to https://go.unl.edu/mfp_fact_sheet or contact your local USDA Farm Service Agency office.

This article was reviewed by Brad Lubben, Extension Ag Policy Specialist.

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