Market Facilitation Funds for Alfalfa Growers
Thanks to the trade war, alfalfa growers may qualify for market facilitation payments. When China imposed retaliatory tariffs and non-tariff barriers on exports of agricultural goods from the United States, the federal government developed the Market Facilitation Program. It provides financial assistance to farmers with commodities impacted by tariffs.
Soybeans are the most well known and highest ranking among crops covered by the program; however, some other crops are also covered. Prior to the trade war, China was the number one importer of alfalfa hay from the United States. As a result, alfalfa hay also qualifies for Market Facilitation payments.
You don’t need to have been selling your hay for export. All alfalfa growers are eligible for payments, including growers who feed all their alfalfa on-farm to their own livestock. Payments are based solely on planted acres as long as conservation compliance requirements are met.
To receive payments, apply at your local Farm Service Agency office by December 6. In order for a field to qualify, it must contain at least 60% alfalfa. At this time it’s unclear how the amount of alfalfa in alfalfa-grass mixtures is going to be determined, but it probably will be done locally. If you do apply, make sure you report your acres as alfalfa. Do not report it as alfalfa-grass because mixtures are ineligible for payments.
Take advantage of Market Facilitation payments for alfalfa. They may not be particularly high, but something is better than nothing.