Trade aid details announced for farmers

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released more details of the $16 billion package announced earlier this year that will assist agricultural producers in response to retaliation and trade disruption.

“We appreciate the support that these programs will provide to our farmers and ranchers in the short term,” North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “We continue to look for long term solutions and are hopeful that things can be resolved soon.”

The trade aid consists of:

  • $14.5 billion for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), which consists of payments to producers of eligible crops and livestock;
  • $1.4 billion for a Food Purchase and Distribution Program (FPDP) to purchase surplus commodities for distribution to food banks, schools and low-income services; and
  • $100 million for an Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) to assist in developing new export markets.

MFP signup begins at local Farm Service Agency offices on Monday, July 29 and runs through Friday, Dec. 6. Producers of selected non-specialty crops, specialty crops, dairy and hogs may be eligible. Payments will be made in up to three rounds, with the second and third rounds evaluated as market conditions and trade opportunities dictate.  All farmers who qualify will collect at least $15 per acre in direct subsidies initially with payment rates assigned by county. County rates may be found at https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/market-facilitation-program/index. Full details on the MFP may be found on USDA’s website at https://www.farmers.gov/manage/mfp.

 

The FPDP will purchase surplus commodities affected by trade retaliation through the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) such as fruits, vegetables, some processed foods, beef, pork, lamb, poultry and milk for distribution by the Food and Nutrition Service to food banks, schools and other outlets serving low-income individuals. AMS will buy affected products in four phases starting after Oct. 1, with deliveries beginning in Jan. 2020. Details on becoming a USDA food vendor are available at https://www.ams.usda.gov/selling-food/becoming-approved.

 

Last week, USDA awarded the $100 million in ATP funds to 48 organizations to help U.S. farmers and ranchers identify and access new export markets. Funding recipients included the national groups for several of North Dakota’s top crops including: dry beans, grains, wheat, dry pea and lentils, soybeans and potatoes. A full listing of recipients may be found at https://www.fas.usda.gov/atp-funding-allocations.