Eligible dairy and other farmers suffering lost export markets and lower commodity prices due to retaliatory tariffs can sign up for federal financial assistance. Applications are available online and through local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices. The application period opened Sept. 4 and runs until Jan. 15, 2019.

Natzke dave
Editor / Progressive Dairy

Due to ongoing trade wars, U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue provided an overview of a three-pronged Trade Mitigation Program on July 24, releasing addiitonal details on Aug. 27. One component of the USDA effort is the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), providing direct payments to producers of corn, cotton, sorghum, soybeans, wheat, dairy and hogs.

Most U.S. dairy farmers will receive payments off their Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) production history. The payment will be 12 cents per hundredweight (cwt) on half of their highest annual milk production history in 2011-13. Dairy farmers not participating in MPP-Dairy, new operations and those having gone through a recent generational transfer must provide milk production records to establish history with the FSA office.

Dairy operations are also required to have been in operation on June 1, 2018, to be eligible for payments. The MFP payments will not be subject to a 6.6 percent sequestration deduction. Payments are capped at $125,000 per entity and recipients are subject to adjusted gross income (AGI) limitations.

Application process

The application is one page, front and back. It is available from FSA offices or can be downloaded. Farmers must provide basic contact information and specifics about commodities that have already been harvested to date. Production evidence, including receipts, must be provided for each commodity. USDA FSA staff will work with farmers to add more commodities eligible for payments as the harvest season progresses.


USDA officials estimate the application form should take about 30 minutes to complete, including the time you’ll need to review the instructions and gather the information.

There are several different ways to submit the application form: in person, via fax, mail or email.

You’ll also have the option of completing a digital application form, which will be sent automatically to your county USDA FSA office. You’ll have to stop by the office to sign the form and provide production evidence.

You’ll also be able to sign in to the authenticated portal to fill out your application using your existing Level 2 USDA eAuthentication account. You will be able to print, manage and track your application from your own secure dashboard.

First-time USDA program users

Producers who have not previously participated in a USDA program should contact their local USDA service center to establish farm records. To establish a farm tract number, you must provide the following items:

  • Proof of identity such as driver’s license or Social Security number/card
  • A copy of recorded deed, survey plat, rental or lease agreement of the land (You do not have to own property to participate in USDA programs.)
  • Articles of incorporation, estate or trust documents for entities

During your visit, you may need to complete or update the following forms for your farm records:

  • CCC-941 – Reports your average adjusted gross income for programs where income restrictions apply
  • AD-1026 – Ensures a conservation plan is in place before lands with highly erodible soils are farmed, identified wetland areas are protected and conservation compliance provisions are met
  • CCC-901 – Identifies members of a farm or ranch that is a legal entity

Also for the Market Facilitation Program, you may need to complete:

• FSA-578 – Identifies crops, intended and actual uses of the crop, and if the crops are irrigated/nonirrigated

• SF-1199A – Identifies the financial institution you wish to use for direct deposit of your MFP payment

Read also:

Dairy disappointed in USDA tariff assistance package

Weekly Digest: Farm Bureau calculates potential state-by-state dairy tariff mitigation payments  end mark

Dave Natzke