Are you a farmer or rancher whose commodities have been directly impacted by unjustified foreign retaliatory tariffs, resulting in the loss of traditional export markets? The Market Facilitation Program was created for producers just like you.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced May 23, 2019 that USDA would again provide aid to assist farmers hurt by trade disruptions prompted by unjustified foreign retaliatory tariffs on their products through MFP. President Trump authorized USDA to provide up to $14.5 billion in direct payments through MFP for 2019 to assist impacted producers, which is in line with the estimated impacts of the retaliatory tariffs on – and non-tariff barriers to exports of – U.S. agricultural goods.
Sign-up Now Open
Sign-up for the program goes through December 6, 2019. You can download an application and find more information on how to apply below.
About the Market Facilitation Program
What Commodities Are Covered?
MFP provides payments to eligible producers of:
- non-specialty crops, including alfalfa hay, barley, canola, corn, crambe, dried beans, dry peas, extra-long staple cotton, flaxseed, lentils, long grain and medium grain rice, millet, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, rye, safflower, sesame seed, small and large chickpeas, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, temperate japonica rice, triticale, upland cotton, and wheat.
- specialty crops, including almonds, cranberries, cultivated ginseng, fresh grapes, fresh sweet cherries, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts.
- dairy and hogs.
Who Is Eligible?
MFP provides payments to eligible producers of covered commodities, which includes non-specialty crops, specialty crops, dairy, and livestock.
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.
- have a farm number with USDA's Farm Service Agency.
In certain cases, producers who did not meet the adjusted gross income limitations for 2018 may now be eligible for payments under MFP.
How Do Payments Work?
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. Those per-acre payments are not dependent on which of those crops are planted in 2019. A producer’s total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings. County payment rates range from $15 to $150 per acre, depending on the impact of unjustified trade retaliation in that county. Acreage of non-specialty must be planted by August 1, 2019 to be considered eligible for MFP payments.
Dairy, Hogs, and Specialty Crops
Dairy producers who were in business as of June 1, 2019, will receive a per hundredweight payment on production history, and hog producers will receive a payment based on the number of live hogs owned on a day selected by the producer between April 1 and May 15, 2019.
For specialty crops, producers will receive a payment based on 2019 acres of fruit or nut bearing plants.
- Dairy (milk): $0.20 per hundredweight
- Hogs: $11 per head
- Nuts: $146 per acre
- Cranberries: $.03 per pound at 21,371 pounds per acre
- Ginseng: $2.85 per pound at 2,000 pounds per acre
- Sweet cherries (fresh): $0.17 per pound at 9,148 pounds per acre
- Table grapes: $0.03 per pound at 20,820 pounds per acre
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.
Enrollment for the Market Facilitation Program opened on July 29 and FSA began issuing payments to producers the week of August 19. Weekly MFP payment updates will be posted every Monday at 12:00 PM Eastern.
As of Monday, September 16, 2019, FSA has paid $3.8 billion in Market Facilitation Program payments to farmers. The top five states were Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Indiana.
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.
How to Apply
Ready to complete your application for the Market Facilitation Program?
The application is one page, front and back, and shouldn’t take too much of your time. You’ll provide some basic contact information and specifics about commodities that have already been harvested to date.
There are several different ways to submit the application form to meet your needs. You can drop the completed form by your FSA county office or send to your office by fax, mail, or email.
Broader USDA Effort
MFP is part of a broader USDA effort to help producers whose commodities have been directly impacted by tariffs. Other USDA programs include:
- The Food Purchase and Distribution Program will purchase the unexpected surplus of affected commodities.
- And the Trade Promotion Program will restore lost markets and develop new export markets for our nation’s farm products.
This is the second year of MFP. So far, USDA has made about $8.59 billion in payments to producers who applied for MFP in 2018.
Find Your Local Service Center
USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county to ﬁnd your local service center and agency offices.
Visit the Risk Management Agency website to ﬁnd a regional or compliance office or to ﬁnd an insurance agent near you.