USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce met with farmers, agriculture organizations and other state leaders in North Dakota on Monday. The trip was prompted by North Dakota Senator John Hoeven to discuss details of the new Market Facilitation Program payments. This was the first roundtable event for the administrator with farmers regarding the payments. Farmers are still curious as to how the county rates were determined. Fordyce said in order to get payments out sooner rather than later, USDA had to come up with a calculation that didn’t require taking a crop to harvest. “It’s based on acres of crops that were planted in that county, the average yields of those crops times a number by commodity,” said Fordyce. “For example, if there was a county that experienced a weather anomaly within the last three years, that would impact the county yield number.” Fordyce wrapped up his time in North Dakota by visiting the Jared Hagert farm near Emerado. Hear the interview.