USDA Announces Details of Assistance for Farmers Impacted by Trade Tariffs

Dairy Farmers of America

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced yesterday details of the recently announced trade mitigation assistance for farmers. Of the up to $12 billion publicized last month, today’s U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement provides $6.4 billion in assistance to various agricultural sectors. This includes $4.7 billion for direct payments through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), a Food Purchase and Distribution Program ($1.2 billion) and an Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) valued at $200 million.

Dairy producers will be eligible for a direct payment through the MFP at a rate of 12 cents per hundredweight on the highest of their 2011, 2012 or 2013 production, up to a $125,0000 payment limit. Beginning September 4, applications will be available online at farmers.gov/mfp. Producers will also be able to submit their MFP applications in person, by email, fax or by mail.

Dairy farmers who have been enrolled in the Margin Protection Program (MPP) will not have to establish production history, but those who have not participated will need to provide proof of 2011, 2012 and 2013 production to their local Farm Service Agency office. Dairy farmers who were not marketing milk in those years can establish production history using one of the following methods:

 

  • Available full month’s marketed milk production for the calendar year the operation first began to market milk, calculated to a yearly amount using a national index based on seasons
  • Estimated actual marketed milk production based on the actual herd size of the dairy operation relative to the national rolling herd average

Later this week, DFA will be mailing a letter to members with their production history for 2011–2013 and additional information.

Those who produce cotton, corn, pork, soybeans, sorghum and wheat are also eligible for MFP payments with specific rates for each commodity. A separate payment limit of $125,000 is applied to livestock versus a crop.

All producers will be paid 50 percent of the program funds they are eligible for within the next several months. The second payment will be made if Secretary Perdue determines it is warranted.