On Monday the USDA announced the details of the farm aid package because of the trade war. The program is called the Market Facilitation Program (MFP.) Thanks to Farm Management Analyst Kent Thiesse from Lake Crystal for providing the details in a form and language we can understand! The MFP will provide direct payments to farmers and will be administrated through local Farm Service Agency Offices. It will be based on your actual production for this year. The MFP payments will be made in 2 phases, the first beginning September 4, 2018.

The MFP payment rates and commodities covered include: soybeans $1.65 a bushel, corn $.01 a bushel, wheat $.14 a bushel, sorghum $.86 a bushel, cotton $.06 per pound, hogs $8.00 a head (on August 1, 2018) and milk $.12 cents per hundred weight. The payments will be capped at $125,000 per person or legal entity. You must also meet FSA requirements for adjusted gross income, be actively engaged in farming as well as in compliance with wetland and conservation requirements.

As I mentioned the first phase will begin on September 4th or as soon farmers finish harvest. Pork and Dairy producers can begin to get their information to FSA offices on September 4th. However, I wonder if FSA offices have all the software and training they will need that quickly? There are still a lot of details in terms of verification of production that we do not know yet. In addition phase two or the second 50 percent payment details will be announced in December. I assume the USDA will decide if the payment are necessary depending on what happens to commodity prices?