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USDA announces relief details

Details have been released on USDA’s plans to take action to help farmers in response to trade damage.

The agency reports the short-term relief package will protect producers while the Trump Administration works on trade deals. Up to $12 billion in programs will be authorized. The Market Facilitation Program will provide payments to producers of corn, cotton, dairy, hogs, sorghum, soybeans and wheat starting Sept. 4.

A Food Purchase and Distribution Program will be administered by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service to purchase up to $1.2 billion in commodities. These commodities will be distributed through nutrition assistance programs.

Producers can apply for assistance after harvest is completed. MFP applications will be available online starting in September at Applications can also be submitted in person, by e-mail, fax or mail. The initial payment will be calculated by multiplying 50 percent of the producer’s total 2018 actual production by the applicable MFP rate. If a second MFP payment period is announced, the remaining 50 percent of the total production will be subject to the second MFP payment rate.

Under MFP, here are the initial payment rates on 50 percent of production: corn $0.01/bushel, dairy (milk) $0.12/cwt, pork (hogs) $8.00/head, soybeans $1.65/bushel, and wheat $0.14/bushel.

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