USDA Market Facilitation Program – Organic Farmer

USDA Market Facilitation Program

By Cecilia Parsons | Associate Editor
Published: October 14, 2019

Enrollment in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Market Facilitation Program will be open through December 6, 2019.

 

The program, for both specialty and non-specialty crop producers will provide up to $14.5 billion in direct payments. This USDA relief strategy was developed to assist farmers who continue to suffer economic damages due to trade retaliation in some of their export markets.

 

In May, President Donald Trump directed Sonny Perdue, Agriculture Secretary to craft a relief strategy in line with the estimated impacts of unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods and other trade disruptions. The Market Facilitation Program (MFP), Food Purchase and Distribution Program and Agricultural Trade Promotion Program are designed to assist agricultural producers as trade negotiations continue.

 

MFP Payments

MFP payments will be made to producers of certain non-specialty crops and specialty crops along with dairy and hog producers.

 

Payments from this program will be made to producers of almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts as well as many other specialty crops. Each crop will receive a payment based in 2019 acres in production. Payments will be made in up to three tranches, with the second and third tranches evaluated as market conditions and trade opportunities evolve. If conditions warrant, the second and third tranches will be made in November and early January 2020.

 

MFP payments are limited to a combined $250,000 for non-specialty crops per person or legal entity. MFP payments are also limited to a combined $250,000 for dairy and hog producers and a combined $250,000 for specialty crop producers. However, no applicant can receive more than $500,000. Eligible applicants must also have an AGI for tax years 2015, 2016, and 2017 of less than $900,000, or 75 percent of the person’s or legal entity’s average AGI for those tax years must have been derived from farming and ranching. Applicants must also comply with the provisions of the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation regulations.

 

MFP assistance for 2019 crops is based on a single county payment rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings to the 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.

 

More information can be found on farmers.gov/mfp, including payment information, program application and locating their local Farm Service Agency Office. Producers are requested to contact their local office to make an appointment.

 

Almond Board of California, California Walnut Commission, American Pistachio Growers and Blue Diamond are among the 48 organizations participating in the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program announced this summer to help growers expand to new markets. ATP is one of three programs set up to assist agricultural producers while work is done to address long-standing market access barriers.

 

ATP Assistance

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service will administer the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) under authorities of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC).

 

The ATP will provide cost-share assistance to eligible U.S. organizations for activities such as consumer advertising, public relations, point-of-sale demonstrations, participation in trade fairs and exhibits, market research, and technical assistance, USDA awarded $100 million to 48 organizations through the ATP recently to help U.S. farmers and ranchers identify and access new export markets.

 

The 48 recipients are among the cooperator organizations that applied for $200 million in ATP funds in 2018 that were awarded earlier this year. As part of a new round of support for farmers impacted by unjustified retaliation and trade disruption, those groups had the opportunity to be considered for additional support for their work to boost exports for U.S. agriculture, food, fish, and forestry products.

 

Already, since the $200 million in assistance was provided, U.S. exporters have had significant success. These funds will continue to generate sales and business for U.S. producers and exporters many times over as promotional activity continues for the next couple of years.

 

The list of ATP funding recipients is available at: https://www.fas.usda.gov/atp-funding-allocations