Tag Archives: FSA

The USDA’s Farm Service Agency announced that signup for the Conservation Reserve Program will begin on December ninth. The signup period ends on February 28th for general CRP, while the signup for continuous CRP is ongoing.

Farmers and ranchers who enroll in CRP get a yearly payment for voluntarily establishing long-term, resource-conserving plant species like approved grasses or trees that help control erosion. The practices also improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat on marginally productive agricultural lands. “The Conservation Reserve Program is one of our nation’s largest conservation efforts and a critical tool to help producers better manage their operations while they conserve natural resources,” says Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue.

CRP currently has 22 million acres enrolled in the program. However, the 2018 Farm Bill lifts the cap on acres up to 27 million. That means many farmers and ranchers have the chance to enroll for the first time or continue their participation for another term. CRP was first signed into law in 1985 and is one of the largest private-lands conservation programs in the United States. The program has evolved over the years and provides a variety of conservation and economic benefits across the country.

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.