On Tuesday Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the details on the trade war aid package for farmers. The program is called the Market Facilitation Program or MFP. The USDA sure likes acronyms doesn't it? There was some talk last week that farmers would have to sell their beans this fall to get the payment.  That is not true. Farmers DO NOT HAVE TO SELL their corn or beans this fall to get the payment.

Farmers may be able eligible for a soybean payment of up to $1.65 a bushel for every bushel of beans harvested this fall. One half the payment will be available as soon as you finish harvesting your beans. The USDA will evaluate the markets in early December and determine if farmers will get the second half of the $1.65. The payment rate for corn is only a penny a bushel with a half a cent this fall and possibly the second half like beans in December.

This means of course you need to be done harvesting beans or corn before you can sign up at your local FSA office. It is a self certification process. You tell the FSA office how many bushels you have and they fill out a one page form. However, keep your records because you could be "spot checked." I am quite certain there will be a lot of oversight on this program.

County FSA offices are asking that pork and dairy producers come into the office as soon as possible to sign up for the MFP program. They are hoping they can have them all taken care of before they get busy with soybeans and corn. For dairymen the payment rate is 12 cents per hundred weight with the first half available as soon as you sign up. Possibly the second half will be paid in December. For pork producers the payment rate is $8.00 per pig.

The key for pork producers is, who actually owns the pigs. There are many different types of production systems in the pork industry these days. Contract feeders are not eligible, it is who OWNS the pigs. In addition the payment is for all pigs living and breathing on August 1, 2018. That means baby pigs, sows, gilts, boars and market pigs.