U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue Alex Wong/GettyImages
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

Shelled almonds and fresh sweet cherries added to trade aid program

Producers may begin signing up Sept. 24, 2018, also timeline extended for hog producers.

Starting today, producers of shelled almonds and fresh sweet cherries may apply for Market Facilitation Program(MFP) payments at their local Farm Service Agency office. In addition, the timeline for hog producers has been extended.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced in July that USDA would act to aid farmers in response to trade damage. These programs will assist agricultural producers to meet some of the costs of disrupted markets.

Related: Trump to announce aid package for farmers

The sign-up period for MFP for other eligible commodities is now open and runs through Jan. 15, 2019. The MFP is established under the statutory authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation CCC Charter Act and is under the administration of USDA’s FSA. Eligible producers should apply after harvest is complete, as payments will only be issued once production is reported.

A payment will be issued on 50% of the producer’s total production, multiplied by the MFP rate for a specific commodity. A second payment period, if warranted, will be determined by the USDA. 

The initial MFP payment rates starting Sept. 24:

Shelled Almonds - $0.03 per pound

Fresh Sweet Cherries - $0.16 per pound

MFP payments are capped per person or legal entity at a combined $125,000 for shelled almonds and fresh sweet cherries.

Eligible applicants must have an ownership interest in the commodity, be actively engaged in farming, and have an average adjusted gross income (AGI) for tax years 2014, 2015, and 2016 of less than $900,000. Applicants must also comply with the provisions of the “Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation” regulations.

Related: Sign up begins today for USDA trade mitigation package 

Expanded Hog Timeline 

USDA has expanded the timeline for producers with whom the Aug. 1, 2018, date does not accurately represent the number of head of live hogs they own. Producers may now choose any date between July 15 to Aug. 15, 2018 that correctly reflects their actual operation.

Source: USDA

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