Market Facilitation Program (MFP) Sign-up Begins Today
Will Snell, University of Kentucky
Last week, the Trump administration announced the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) to partially compensate U.S. farmers for the estimated losses associated with the current trade disputes. The program consists of $4.7 billion of payments to U.S. corn, cotton, soybean, wheat, sorghum, dairy, and hog farmers.
Beginning today (September 4th), Kentucky farmers can apply for the MFP at their local Farm Service Agency office. Crop farmers can apply after their 2018 harvest is 100 percent complete to determine 2018 production levels. Dairy payments will be based on historical production reported within the Margin Protection Program (MPP) or validated production levels for those dairy producers not participating in the MPP. Payment for swine producers will be based on the total number of hogs owned on August 1, 2018.
The initial payment (see table) will be based on 50% of 2018 production levels. Signups will continue through January 15, 2019. A second round of payments for the remaining 50% of production may be announced in December if trade conditions warrant.
Only farmers with an average adjusted gross income less than $900,000 for the 2014-2016 tax years are eligible for payments. In addition, applicants must also comply with USDA’s conservation compliance provisions. MFP payments are capped at $125,000 per person or legal entity for dairy and hog farmers and $125,000 for grain producers.
U.S. Soybeans producers are estimated to receive approximately 77% of the initial round of MFP payments based on USDA’s assessment of the economic impact evolving from the current trade dispute. Kentucky will receive in the neighborhood of $100 million of MFP payments (with approximately 90% going to soybean producers) -- around 7% of the state’s average net farm income over the past three years.
In addition to the $4.7 billion of MFP payments, USDA also announced $1.2 billion to buy agricultural commodities impacted by tariffs (Food Purchases and Distribution Program) and $200 million to assist in export market development (Agricultural Trade Promotion Program).