Washington Advocacy

USDA Resources Available for Farmers Hurt by 2018, 2019 Disasters
Signup Begins Sept. 11 for More Than $3 Billion in Aid

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 9, 2019 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that agricultural producers affected by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019, including Hurricane Dorian, can apply for assistance through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+). Signup for this U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program will begin Sept. 11, 2019.

“U.S. agriculture has been dealt a hefty blow by extreme weather over the last several years, and 2019 is no exception,” Perdue said. “The scope of this year’s prevented planting alone is devastating, and although these disaster program benefits will not make producers whole, we hope the assistance will ease some of the financial strain farmers, ranchers and their families are experiencing. President Trump has the backs of our farmers, and we are working to support America’s great patriot farmers.”

More than $3 billion is available through the disaster relief package passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in early June. WHIP+ builds on the successes of its predecessor program the 2017 Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP) that was authorized by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. In addition, the relief package included new programs to cover losses for milk dumped or removed from the commercial market and losses of eligible farm stored commodities due to eligible disaster events in 2018 and 2019. Also, prevented planting supplemental disaster payments will provide support to producers who were prevented from planting eligible crops for the 2019 crop year.

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USDA Opens 2019 Enrollment for Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs
2020 Enrollment Period to Open in October

(Washington, D.C., September 3, 2019) – Agricultural producers can now enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, two popular safety net programs, for the 2019 crop year. Interested producers must sign up for either program by March 15, 2020.

The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized and made updates to these two USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs. ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guarantee level. PLC program provides income support payments on historical base acres when the price for a covered commodity falls below its effective reference price.

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USDA Announces Details of Support Package for Farmers
Washington, D.C., July 25, 2019 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently announced further details of the $16 billion package aimed at supporting American agricultural producers while the Administration continues to work on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals.

In May, President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a relief strategy in line with the estimated impacts of unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods and other trade disruptions. The Market Facilitation Program (MFP), Food Purchase and Distribution Program (FPDP), and Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) will assist agricultural producers while President Trump works to address long-standing market access barriers.

“China and other nations have not played by the rules for a long time, and President Trump is the first President to stand up to them and send a clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate unfair trade practices,” Secretary Perdue said. “The details we announced today ensure farmers will not stand alone in facing unjustified retaliatory tariffs while President Trump continues working to solidify better and stronger trade deals around the globe.

“Our team at USDA reflected on what worked well and gathered feedback on last year’s program to make this one even stronger and more effective for farmers. Our farmers work hard, are the most productive in the world, and we aim to match their enthusiasm and patriotism as we support them,” Secretary Perdue added.

The Market Facilitation Program (MFP) for 2019, will be administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and will provide $14.5 billion in direct payments to producers. The Market Facilitation Program (MFP) includes peanuts, among other non-specialty and specialty crops, as an eligible crop to receive payments from the USDA. The MFP will pay peanut producers on a county per acre payment rate. Peanut producer payments will range in Georgia from $15 to $150 an acre depending on which county the peanuts are being produced in 2019.

As compared to last year’s round of MFP payments, this year’s program revises payment limit language for eligible producers and will allow a maximum of $500,000 to go to a single producer or legal entity across all three aspects of MFP with a $250,000 limit for a single phase of the program. The adjusted gross income (AGI) limit barring program participation if an applicant’s AGI tops $900,000 also applies, but is waived if three-fourths of that income comes from agriculture.

Market Facilitation Program payments will be made in up to three tranches. The first payment will be made in mid-to-late August with the second and third payments coming in November and January. Applications will be available beginning Monday, July 29, online at www.farmers.gov/manage/mfp.

USDA Announces Loan Rates for 2019-Crop Peanuts

Washington, D.C., June 27, 2019 – USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) today announced 2019-crop loan rates for four types of peanuts. The rates take effect Aug. 1, 2019, the beginning of the peanut crop year.

Eligible producers can obtain peanut loans through their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices or alternative delivery partners such as Designated Marketing Associations (DMA), and Cooperative Marketing Associations (CMA). These loans provide producers with interim financing on their production and facilitate the orderly distribution of loan-eligible peanuts throughout the year. The 2018 Farm Bill established the national loan rate for peanuts at $355 per ton. The 2019 Crop Peanut Rate was calculated using the national loan rate and five-year average quality factors, along with a three-year simple average weighted production. For an average grade ton of 2019-crop peanuts, loan rates by type are:

Runner-type peanuts $355.16 per ton
Spanish-type peanuts $344.74 per ton
Valencia-type peanuts $355.49 per ton
Virginia-type peanuts $355.49 per ton

CCC applies premiums and discounts for quality factors to compute the loan value for an individual ton of peanuts. The actual loan level depends on the percent of various sizes of kernels in each ton. CCC uses the percentage of sound mature kernels (SMK) and sound splits to compute the basic loan value of the load. SMKs are whole kernels that pass over the testing screen officially designated for each type of peanut. Sound splits are whole kernels split into two pieces. Excess sound splits receive discounts. There are discounts for other kernels, damaged kernels and foreign materials. An additional discount occurs for loose shell kernels. Other quality discounts also may apply.

For each percent of SMK in a ton of peanuts, plus each percent of sound splits, the loan levels are:

Runner-type peanuts 4.744 per percent
Spanish-type peanuts 4.720 per percent
Valencia-type peanuts 5.261 per percent
Virginia-type peanuts 4.839 per percent