The agriculture industry is anxiously awaiting more information about the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) with MFP details expected to be announced in the coming days. Vice President of Washington Operations for the National Cotton Council, Reece Langley highlighted some of the features of the latest iteration of MFP payments.
“What we do know that will be different from last year is that there will be a payment rate established for each county,” Langley noted. “Planted acres of eligible commodities, including cotton and other major row crops, will receive that same per-acre payment rate within that county. That will reflect recent production history for the various mix of commodities produced in that county, and that will be based off the trade damage or market damage that has been caused to each commodity because of the tariffs.”
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said that farmers who qualify for the program can expect to receive at least $15 per acre. “We are anticipating right now three tranches obviously, with about probably 50 percent or a minimum of $15 an acre initially,” Secretary Perdue told reporters on Tuesday, explaining his expectation for MFP details to be released later in the week. “The other two tranches would be anticipating any market changes or looking at any market changes going forward.”
Signup for MFP is expected to begin sometime next month. Langley expressed hope that some of the changes to the program will address the payment limit which proved problematic for some growers last year. “This will be the second year of the MFP program that the Trump Administration has provided,” said Langley. “This year with the possibility that these payments could be larger and that more commodities and more acres could be included, that there’s going to need to be some type of relief provided on that payment limit level.”