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Final MFP payment authorized

Progressive Dairy Editor Dave Natzke Published on 03 February 2020

The third and final 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payment – this one equal to 5 cents per hundredweight (cwt) on a dairy farmer’s annual milk production history – should be deposited in dairy producers’ bank accounts during the first week of February, according to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. Perdue announced authorization of the payments on Feb. 3.

MFP payments were distributed in three “tranches.” In August 2019, eligible dairy farmers received an MFP payment of 10 cents per cwt on their annual production history. A second payment, equal to 5 cents per cwt, was distributed last November.

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To be eligible for payments, producers must have been operating on June 1, 2019. Production history must have been established with the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA).

Previous analysis by John Newton, chief economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation, estimated U.S. dairy farmers would receive between $351 million and $371 million after all three MFP payments were issued, representing 2.4%-4.6% of all MFP payments. Newton also provided summaries of payments at the state and county level.

The MFP is part of the 2019 Trade Mitigation Program (TMP), a $16 billion, three-pronged federal package designed to offset the negative financial impacts suffered by U.S. farmers due to ongoing trade and tariff wars. Of that total, $14.5 billion was designated for direct MFP payments to specialty and nonspecialty crop producers, dairy and hog farmers, with payments administered through the USDA FSA.

Dairy farmers who grow alfalfa may be eligible for MFP acreage payments under the nonspecialty crop portion of the program. However, last October, the USDA clarified that any alfalfa-grass forage mix stand must be at least 60% alfalfa to qualify. For nonspecialty crops that qualify, per acre payment rates for all counties are available on the USDA’s MFP website.

There are two additional pieces of the TMP. The USDA continues to purchase dairy products under the $1.4 billion Food Purchase and Distribution Program (FPDP), administered by Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), and the USDA distributed $100 million to organizations seeking to expand export markets under the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP), administered by the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS).

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Contact your local FSA office for more information.  end mark

Dave Natzke
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