USDA formally extends trade aid application deadline
The Agriculture Department on Monday formally extended from May 1 to May 17 the deadline for farmers to certify 2018 crop production for payments through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) which helps producers who have been significantly affected by foreign tariffs, resulting in the loss of traditional exports.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue first announced the extension during a weekend visit to North Dakota, but on Monday USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) issued a news release that it was extending the deadline because heavy rainfall and snowfall have delayed harvests in many parts of the country, preventing producers from certifying acres.
Payments will be issued only if eligible producers certify before the updated May 17 deadline, FSA noted.
The MFP provides payments to producers of corn, cotton, sorghum, soybeans, wheat, dairy, hogs, fresh sweet cherries and shelled almonds. FSA will issue payments based on the producer’s certified total production of the MFP commodity multiplied by the MFP rate for that specific commodity.
“Trade issues, coupled with low commodity prices and recovery from natural disasters, have definitely impacted the bottom line for many agricultural producers,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce.
“The MFP payments provide short-term relief from retaliatory tariffs to
supplement the traditional farm safety net, helping agricultural producers through these difficult times. Weather conditions this fall, winter and early spring have blocked many producers from completing harvest of their crops, and we want to make sure producers who want to finalize their MFP application have an opportunity.”
Producers can certify production by contacting their local FSA office or through farmers.gov.
To date, more than $8.3 billion has been paid to nearly 600,000 applicants. The MFP is established under the statutory authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act and is administered by FSA.
–The Hagstrom Report