Sign-up for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Market Facilitation Program officially starts today, Sept. 4. The $12 billion package was put together to cover three phases. The first phase includes payments to producers, the second phase has USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service administering a Food Purchase and Distribution Program to purchase commodities targeted by “unjustified” retaliation, and the third phase has the Foreign Agricultural Service’s Agricultural Trade Promotion Program using dollars to develop foreign markets for U.S. agricultural products.
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will administer the producer payment portion of the program, which is designed to provide payments to corn, cotton, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean and wheat producers. This is to provide payments to producers as part of a “short-term relief strategy” to protect agriculture. Payments will be based on actual 2018 production, so you must harvest a crop and then provide production numbers to USDA before a payment can be sent. The initial payment will be calculated by multiplying 50 percent of the producer’s total 2018 actual production by the rate set for that specific crop.
According to a story from Rod Bain, a senior USDA official says one goal of a trade disruption payment program is to make things as straightforward as possible for producer sign-up.