Farmers are seeing payments from the first round of the latest trade aid in the mailbox. Farm Service Agency director Richard Fordyce says the first payments are being mailed out now, and farmers are reporting receiving the checks.
Round one of the three potential payments is 50 percent of the overall amount farmers may receive. USDA expects up to $14.5 billion of payments will be sent to farmers, pending on the trade negotiation progress. Another 25 percent of the total would go out later this fall, if the Department of Agriculture deems the payments necessary. The final round, if needed, is planned for some time around January.
The payments are meant to offset the losses stemmed from the Trump trade agenda and trade war with China. Payments range from $15 to $150 per acre, depending on location. Payments are also available for dairy and hog producers, under certain reporting parameters.
This is the second time the Trump administration has used the Market Facilitation Program since the trade war with China began.
Farm Service Agency offices starting today (Monday) are accepting producer applications for the Market Facilitation Program payments announced last week.
The payments are part of the $16 billion trade aid package for producers in 2019. The Department of Agriculture expects the first round of payments to start mailing around mid-to-late August. A producer will receive 50 percent of the per-acre payment rate in the first round of payments. So, if a county-level rate is $60, the producer would receive $30 per-acre in August, and the remaining $30 would be split between two additional payments, if they’re determined necessary by the Trump administration, later in the year.
Producers have until Friday, December 6, 2019, to apply. Dairy and hog producers are also eligible for aid, but have specific requirements producers must follow during the application process. USDA is encouraging all eligible producers to contact their local FSA office to apply, or find the application and requirements, along with the list of agricultural products covered, at www.farmers.gov/mfp.