MISSOURI — The historic flooding of this past spring left many producers with only a cover crop and in some cases, no crop at all.
However, the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA), offers a variety of payment programs to help both crop and livestock producers recover from the damage sustained during the 2019 planting season.
KMZU’s Dan Watson talked with Casey Wasser, the Director of Policy with the Missouri Soybean Association, to find out what USDA programs are available to farmers and learn more about one of the main payment systems, the Market Facilitation Program (MFP).
Click below to listen to their conversation, which aired Thursday on KMZU.
According to Wasser, the MFP payment system has been adjusted by the USDA in order to compensate for the acres lost to spring flooding.
“Each county was given a per-acre rate based on a three year total of crops planted in that county. . . a major difference from last year is the payment cap, we talk to a lot of farmers with a lot of impact, they hit that $125,000 cap. This year your cap will be $250,000 per entity.”
Hog producers are also eligible for payments, but they will receive a flat rate of $11 per head regardless of their county.
Much like hog producers, growers that were able to plant a cover crop by the USDA deadline can receive a flat rate payment, no matter what county they live in.
“So if you were prevent plant and you were able to plant a cover crop on that ground by August 1, you’ll be able to claim $15 per acre,” Wasser said.
For growers that could not plant a cover crop, they are not eligible for payments as the system is based upon the number of planted acres.
“It goes back to the fact that the Market Facilitation Program payments cannot be provided unless a harvestable crop was in the ground,” Wasser explained, “and so, knowing that prevent plant acreage, the only way they can get an MFP payment is on the cover crop ground.”
However, crop producers that still have fields underwater are able to receive assistance through the federal government’s newest disaster aid package.
“There are some things that will be coming down through the USDA, specifically given to them through authority in the Federal Disaster Aid Package,” Wasser stated, “so if you are in a disaster declared county, that’s very important, you will be able to get a small increase in your prevent plant coverage.”
Wasser encourages any producer with additional questions to contact their crop insurance agent of their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.
For more information about the Market Facilitation Program, visit the USDA’s website.