Farmers must plant a crop to be eligible for Market Facilitation Program payments. USDA issued a statement on trade assistance and disaster programs, saying USDA has no legal authority to make MFP payments for acreage that is not planted. Farmers who plant a cover crop may qualify for a minimal amount of assistance. There are no new details on the formula for MFP payments, repeating the assistance is based on a single county payment rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings to MFP-eligible crops. The USDA statement indicates the disaster bill gives USDA authority to compensate losses caused by prevented planting up to 90 percent. While the authority is there, the Agriculture Department said it is highly unlikely enough funds will be available to support that level of coverage.
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