There has already been a substantial response from the agricultural industry for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) sign-up period. Other important farm programs such as the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs should be announcing sign-up periods in the coming weeks. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working diligently to optimize the MFP platform to make the application process more simplified for those looking to apply.
“While the signup is currently open at the county [Farm Service Agency] offices we know a number of producers have encountered various issues and questions about what acres will qualify and possible problems in what is and is not eligible,” said Reece Langley, Vice President of Washington Operations for the National Cotton Council. “We continue to work with USDA staff in Washington to try to get clarification and resolution on those issues and we know that the software program that the county offices are using for MFP is continually being updated to try to address these issues.”
Farmers that may have been unsuccessful or experienced problems while attempting to sign up for MFP are encouraged to try again. “If you’ve encountered any of these problems in your county office, please continue to follow up with them and be patient as they’re trying to work through some of these updates to try to address the issues that have been raised,” said Langley.
As producers continue to sign up for MFP, USDA is expected to make an announcement soon as to when farmers can sign up for other significant farm programs. “USDA plans to begin the signup for the farm bill programs and specifically making an election between the ARC and PLC programs for the 2019-2020 crop years,” said Langley. “That process is expected to begin in early September and continue into the first quarter of 2020.”