WASHINGTON — Sign-up is open for the Market Facilitation Program, a U.S. Department of Agriculture program to assist farmers who continue to suffer from damages because of trade retaliation from foreign nations, a news release said.
Through the program, the USDA will provide up to $14.5 billion in direct payments to affected producers, part of a broader trade relief package announced in late July. The sign-up period runs through Dec. 6.
“Our team at USDA reflected on what worked well and gathered feedback on last year’s program to make this one even stronger and more effective for farmers. Our farmers work hard, are the most productive in the world, and we aim to match their enthusiasm and patriotism as we support them,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
Program payments will be made to producers of certain nonspecialty and specialty crops, including pecans, as well as dairy and hog producers.
Payments will be made in up to three parts, with the second and third parts evaluated as market conditions and trade opportunities dictate. If conditions warrant, the second and third payments will be made in November and early January.
Payments are limited to a combined $250,000 for nonspecialty crops per person or legal entity; a combined $250,000 for dairy and hog producers; and a combined $250,000 for specialty crop producers. However, no applicant can receive more than $500,000. Eligible applicants must also have an average adjusted gross income for tax years 2015, 2016 and 2017 of less than $900,000, or 75% of the person’s or legal entity’s average adjusted gross income for those tax years must have been derived from farming and ranching. Applicants must comply with the provisions of the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation regulations.
Information can be found on farmers.gov/mfp, including payment information and a program application.