Farmers can now apply for the Trump administration’s trade-aid package at their local Farm Service Agency offices.
At press time, USDA was anticipating some $4.7 billion to be made available in Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments for crops such as soybeans, sorghum, wheat, cotton and corn, as well as for dairy and pork producers.
An American Farm Bureau analysis projects the top four states for payments will receive roughly 45% of the aid.
“Combined, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana and Nebraska are estimated to receive more than $2.1 billion, or 45%, of the first round of MFP payments,” reports Veronica Nigh, economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation.
To be eligible, a producer must have an adjusted gross income under $900,000 and be in conservation compliance. Aid payments will have a cap of $125,000 per person. That cap will be separate from any payments a farmer might receive this year from the Agricultural Revenue Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs.
Payments are based on 50% of a farmer’s production for the commodity receiving aid. Farmers will need to show actual production for crops when they apply for aid. Payment rates for commodities, multiplied by 50% of production, are as follows:
> SOYBEANS: $1.65 a bushel
> SORGHUM: 86 cents a bushel
> WHEAT: 14 cents a bushel
> CORN: 1 cent a bushel
> COTTON: 6 cents a pound
For livestock producers, payments are as follows:
> PORK FARMERS: $8/head for 50% of the pigs they owned as of Aug. 1, 2018
> DAIRY FARMERS: payment based on the Margin Protection Program historical production figure, multiplied by 12 cents per cwt.
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