Many farmers have signed up for the first half of the Market Facilitation Program payment for beans, corn, and wheat. Most dairy farmers, and pork producers have also signed up. It was in November Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said the USDA would be making the second half of the payment too. However, there has been no official or formal announcement from the USDA. We were told that would come in December. We are still waiting and it might be a while!

Farm Business Management instructor Jeff Schultz forwarded an email he received from Gary Kunz USDA Farm Service Agency Director in Le Sueur County. "Despite previous reports that the USDA would issue the second round of Market Facilitation Program (MFP) this week, Reuters is reporting the White House Office of Management and Budget is delaying the payments until further notice."

Apparently the White House Office of Management and Budget wants to take a 'wait and see" approach as to how trade with China evolves. There were a lot of news stories about the G 20 Summit when President Trump met with the President of China. There are many rumors that China is going to buy a lot of U.S. beans, maybe 200 million bushel or more.

After the news about the truce with the China Trade War, Secretary Perdue reassured farmers the second half of the payments would be made. "From my perspective, nothing has changed from the tariff damage that farmers experience," Perdue said. A Reuter's source said it appears the White House does not agree, the White House was delaying its approval hoping China will soon resume purchases of soybeans.

The news release said "still the USDA remains optimistic a payment will be issued before the end of the year." We are in discussions with the White House and anticipate that the second payment rates for the Market Facilitation Program will be published before the end of the year," USDA spokesman Tim Murtaugh told AgWeb in a statement Tuesday."