The United States Department of Agriculture launched the trade mitigation package aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. Producers of certain commodities can now sign up for the Market Facilitation Program.
    USDA provided details in August of the programs to be employed. USDA’s Farm Service Agency will administer the Market Facilitation Program to provide payments to corn, cotton, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean and wheat producers. An announcement about further payments will be made in the coming months, if warranted. USDA is working to determine how to address market disruptions for producers of almonds and sweet cherries.
    The sign-up period for MFP is now open and runs through Jan. 15, 2019, with information and instructions provided at www.farmers.gov/mfp. MFP provides payments to cotton, corn, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean and wheat producers who have been significantly impacted by actions of foreign governments resulting in the loss of traditional exports. Eligible producers should apply after harvest is complete, as payments will only be issued once production is reported.
    A payment will be issued on 50 percent of the producer’s total production, multiplied by the MFP rate for a specific commodity. A second payment period, if warranted, will be determined by the USDA.

Comm.  Int. Pymt. Rate  Est. Int. Pymt.** (in-$1,000s)
Cotton       $0.06/lb.            $276,900
Corn          $0.01/bu.            $96,000
Dairy         $0.12/cwt.            $127,400
Pork          $8.00/head            $290,300
Soybeans   $1.65/bu.              $3,629,700
Sorghum    $0.86/bu.              $156,800
Wheat        $0.14/bu.              $119,200
Total                                           $4,696,300
 **Initial payment rate on 50 percent of production

    MFP payments are limited to a combined $125,000 for corn, cotton, sorghum, soybeans and wheat capped per person or legal entity. MFP payments are also limited to a combined $125,000 for dairy and hog producers. Applicants must also have an average adjusted gross income for tax years 2014, 2015 and 2016 of less than $900,000. Applicants must also comply with the provisions of the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation regulations.
    For more information, interested producers can visit www.farmers.gov.
    Farm Service Agency is an Equal Opportunity Lender. Complaints about discrimination should be sent to: Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. Visit the Farm Service Agency Web site at: www.fsa.usda.gov/ for necessary application forms and updates on USDA programs.