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Market Facilitation Program signup ends Jan. 15Market Facilitation Program signup ends Jan. 15

Farmers who lost revenue to trade disruptions from tariffs have until mid-January to apply.

P.J. Griekspoor

January 1, 2019

2 Min Read
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DEADLINES COMING: Farmers have until Jan. 15 to sign up for the Market Facilitation Program, which will help them withstand losses in revenue due to trade disruptions.

An important deadline is coming up on Jan. 15 for farmers who need to sign up for the Market Facilitation Program, the USDA aid program for producers who have suffered losses because of trade retaliation by countries affected by tariffs imposed by the Trump administration.

Signup for the program began in September, and farmers have until Jan. 15, 2019 to fill out an application. Certification of 2018 yields can be made until May 1.

The deadline reminder comes as Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced that a second round of payments is being made to farmers who have already certified crop production. The first payments covered half of 2018 production and there was a delay before the second half was authorized.

While some progress has been made, notably an announcement that China will buy some U.S. soybeans and a revised agreement with Canada and Mexico to update NAFTA with the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, there continues to be significant market impact from trade disputes.

The Jan. 15 deadline is of particular importance to cotton farmers, many of whom are still harvesting and the bulk of whom will not have final ginning reports for months — possibly not even by the May 1 deadline.

The National Agricultural Statistical Service reported the cotton harvest only 48% complete as of the last report of the year on Dec. 2 but a stretch of good weather through mid-December meant farmers were able to make rapid progress on harvesting not only cotton but remaining fields of corn, soybeans, sorghum and sunflowers as well.

Southern Kansas Cotton Growers Cooperative crop consultant Rex Friesen said it is uncertain how farmers will be able to certify their yields if they are still waiting for ginning reports when May 1 approaches. Cotton growers will get a payment of 6 cents per pound from the MFP for trade losses.

“There may have to be some provision for those people who are still waiting on ginning at the deadline,” Friesen says. “It’s something still to be worked out.

Kansas Farm Service Agency executive director David Schemm says county FSA offices across Kansas opened the day after Christmas and will remain open in spite of the government shutdown, assuring that Market Facilitation Program payments will go out promptly when farmers certify yields.

About the Author(s)

P.J. Griekspoor

Editor, Kansas Farmer

Phyllis Jacobs "P.J." Griekspoor, editor of Kansas Farmer, joined Farm Progress in 2008 after 18 years with the Wichita Eagle as a metro editor, page designer, copy desk chief and reporter, covering agriculture and agribusiness, oil and gas, biofuels and the bioeconomy, transportation, small business, military affairs, weather, and general aviation.

She came to Wichita in 1990 from Fayetteville, N.C., where she was copy desk chief of the Fayetteville Observer for three years. She also worked at the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn. (1980-87), the Mankato Free Press in Mankato, Minn. (1972-80) and the Kirksville Daily Express in Kirksville, Mo. (1966-70).

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