USDA is calculating the 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments differently than last year, and the rates are going to vary from county to county.
Farmers in counties in the southwestern North Dakota will receive the minimum of $15 per acre, while the farmers in the eastern part of the state will have payment rates of up to $60 per acre, according to Bryon Parman, North Dakota State University Extension agricultural finance specialist.
Most of the southeastern counties will receive more than $50 per acre, with the average payment rate across North Dakota being $31 per acre.
In South Dakota, the rates range from $15 per acre in West River to nearly $70 per acre in the southeast.
The county payment rates were estimated by USDA to reflect the amount of trade value each county lost with trade partners due to retaliatory tariffs.
Last year, the MFP rate was applied to actual 2018 production where a rate was chosen and multiplied by the number of head, bushels, and tons or hundredweights produced and verified after harvest. It was weighted heavily towards soybeans, with soybeans getting $1.65 per bushel.
This year, payments are in dollars per acre and not based on the current year’s crop production. Crops that are eligible for 2019 MFP payments will be paid the 2019 rate as long as acres do not exceed what was planted in 2018, says Matthew Elliott, South Dakota State University ag economist.
“County rates may differ dramatically, even for neighboring counties,” Parman says. For example, the rate in Stutsman County is $51 per acre, while the rate in Kidder County is $29 per acre.
The difference is due to the ratio of soybeans (which is assigned a high MFP rate) to other crops.
For more information about the program and how rates are determined, or to sign up for the MFP, visit farmers.gov/manage/mfp. Sign-up runs through Dec. 6.Sources: NDSU and SDSU Extension Services, which are solely responsible for the information provided and are wholly owned by the sources. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.