Tag Archives: Deadline

Fewer and fewer days remain for Congress to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement in 2019. Washington is sending mixed signals on whether the deal can be completed this year.

Some lawmakers have suggested the House stay in session an extra week, adding time to the calendar to wrap up business before Christmas. Meanwhile, last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said a labor deal in USMCA was “imminent.” However, President Donald Trump claimed this week Pelosi was holding up the trade deal to gather more votes in favor of impeaching Trump.

Representative Richard Neal, who chairs the Democrats USMCA working group, last week suggested union support was within reach, adding “we need it.” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka met with Pelosi and other Democrats Tuesday, while also vowing during an unrelated speech to not allow Democrats to fold on core issues.

Trumka stated that until USMCA includes stronger labor standards, “there is still more work to be done,” according to Reuters. Democrats leaving the meeting were skeptical that an agreement could be reached this year.

Signup for the 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP)–ongoing since September—will end Friday, December 6, 2019.  All producers MUST make application for this program through their local FSA office by close of business December 6. Late-filed application provisions do not exist for this program.

MFP is a USDA program to assist farmers suffering from damages due to unjustified trade retaliation from foreign nations. Through MFP, USDA may provide up to $14.5 billion in direct payments to impacted producers, part of a broader trade relief package announced in late July.  Payments were projected to be made in three tranches.  The first tranche of 50% of the of the total expected payments has been made to producer who have already made application.  A second tranche of 25% was just announced and is projected to be made the week of November 25.  A third payment tranche is still possible in early January.

MFP payments are being made to producers of certain non-specialty and specialty crops as well as dairy and hog producers. MFP assistance for 2019 crops is based on a single county payment rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings to the MFP-eligible crops in aggregate in 2019. Those per acre payments are not dependent on which of those crops are planted in 2019. A producer’s total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings. View payment rates by county.

Non-Specialty Crops
MFP payments will be made to producers of alfalfa hay, barley, canola, corn, crambe, dried beans, dry peas, extra-long staple cotton, flaxseed, lentils, long grain and medium grain rice, millet, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, rye, safflower, sesame seed, small and large chickpeas, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, temperate japonica rice, triticale, upland cotton, and wheat.

Dairy and Hogs
Dairy producers who were in business as of June 1, 2019, will receive a per hundredweight payment on production history, and hog producers will receive a payment based on the number of live hogs owned on a day selected by the producer between April 1 and May 15, 2019.

Specialty Crops
MFP payments will also be made to producers of almonds, cranberries, cultivated ginseng, fresh grapes, fresh sweet cherries, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. Each specialty crop will receive a payment based on 2019 acres of fruit or nut bearing plants, or in the case of ginseng, based on harvested acres in 2019.

More Information
MFP payments are limited to a combined $250,000 for non-specialty crops per person or legal entity. MFP payments are also limited to a combined $250,000 for dairy and hog producers and a combined $250,000 for specialty crop producers. However, no applicant can receive more than $500,000. Eligible applicants must also have an average adjusted gross income (AGI) for tax years 2015, 2016, and 2017 of less than $900,000, or 75 percent of the person’s or legal entity’s average AGI for those tax years must have been derived from farming and ranching. Applicants must also comply with the provisions of the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation regulations.

More information can be found on farmers.gov/mfp, including payment information and a program application.