USDA Announces Details of Second Round of Farmer Payments

Agribusiness

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The latest support package for farmers is out with plans to pay out nearly $14.5 billion to farmers for the cost of trade disputes and trade wars.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the details of round two in its Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments, which includes major Iowa products of corn, soybeans, pork, dairy and beef.

Payments will be made by the Farm Service Agency and is based on a single county payment rate, multiplied by a farm's total plantings of eligible crops in 2019. County rates can range between $15 and $150 per acre depending on the level of impact trade disruptions have had.

The MFP rule and a related notice of funding availability will be published in the Federal Register on July 29 when signup also begins.

Payments will be made in up to three parts, with the second and third made with market conditions and trade opportunities in mind. The first payment will be the higher of 50 percent of a producer's calculated payment or $15 per acre. Furthermore, the payments take into account Midwest flooding this year. Producers who filed a prevented planting claim and planted a certified cover crop qualify for a $15 per acre payment.

Response to the program are flowing in, the National Council of Farmers Cooperatives, the National Corn Growers and the National Pork Producers Council are among those applauded the announcement.

The National Farmers Union temper its praise saying, "This relief is desperately needed and much appreciated. However, the package will only provide temporary assistance and does not address the long-term problems of oversupply and low prices that have been exacerbated by the trade war."

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