USDA Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Friday announced that the second tranche of 2019 Market Facilitation Program payments will begin being issued next week. While USDA initially said the second round of MFP payments would be made between Nov. 18 and Nov. 28, 2019, county FSA offices have been directed to prioritize processing of the payments and conclude that by November 22, according to Pro Farmer’s Jim Wiesemeyer.
The second round of payments, valued at $3.625 billion was contingent on continued trade disruptions with China and other trading partners.
President trump Tweeted about the second round of payments on Sunday.
"Our great Farmers will recieve another major round of “cash,” compliments of China Tariffs, prior to Thanksgiving. The smaller farms and farmers will be big beneficiaries. In the meantime, and as you may have noticed, China is starting to buy big again. Japan deal DONE. Enjoy!"
If authorized, a third round would be distributed in the same amount in January or February 2020. Perdue hasn’t ruled out a third installment of payments under MFP 2, Wiesemeyer says, but he said farmers should not count on the program being repeated next year.
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“I’m not encouraging anyone to expect a 2020 payment,” he said. “If we can get a trade deal done, I’m telling you, with China on the kinds of numbers we’re talking about, I mean I may want to go back to farming.”
Last week, while in Kansas City, Perdue said the agency has no plans to change MFP payment rates.
"I haven't heard farmers complaining, aside from this report that was put out in the Senate," he said, referring to a minority paper that Senate Ag Committee Democrats released on Nov. 12.
According to Wiesemeyer, that paper, which accused the MFP to be skewed toward cotton and southern farmers, has been criticized by some as offering no solutions to charges presented in the publication.
“This is nothing more than a political conversation again trying to bash the administration,” Perdue said.
Click on this link for Wiesemeyer’s perspective on the minority report.