Late Monday afternoon the USDA announced that the second and final Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments had been approved! However, before the USDA announcement, we knew the MFP payment was coming, and it was a tweet! I guess it is a sign of today's communication technology.

President Trump tweeted " Today I am making good on my promise to defend our Farmers and Ranchers from unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. I have authorized Secretary Perdue to implement the 2nd round of Market Facilitation Payments. Our economy is stronger than ever-we stand with our farmers!"

So, it is "official" that the second and final MFP payments will be coming. If you signed up for the first payment you do not have to go back to your Farm Service office (FSA.) County FSA offices are waiting for the software and then they will process the second payment as quickly as they can. If you have not signed up for the MFP program you have until January 15, 2019.

The other reason farmers will not know how quickly the MFP payments will be processed is the possibility of a partial government shutdown. If President Trump and Congress cannot agree on a budget deal parts of the Federal Government will shut down Friday afternoon. Apparently if a budget deal is not reached USDA county FSA offices would be closed Monday morning.

So, it is good news the payments will be transferred to farmers bank accounts, we just do not know when. This does complicate farmers as they look at year end income, expenses and managing their income for 2018.