Today, USDA Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced funding for walnut growers impacted by unjustified tariff retaliation and trade disruption.
The funds are being made available through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), authorized under the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). The funding is part of the trade relief package, announced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in May, which includes $14.5 billion in direct payments to producers and well as $100MM in Agriculture Trade Promotion funds for export market development. To date, the CWC has received $3.6 MM in ATP funds for additional export activities to offset losses result from trade disruption.
How will the payments be administered?
California walnut growers will receive payment based on 2019 planned acres of production. MFP payments will be made in up-to three tranches, with the second and third tranches evaluated as market conditions and trade opportunities dictate. If conditions warrant, the second and third tranches will be made in November and early January, respectively. The first tranche will be comprised of the higher of either 50 percent of a producer’s USDA calculated payment rate (found on farmers.gov) or $15 per acre, which may reduce potential payments to be made in tranches two or three.
When will the payments to growers begin?
USDA will begin making first tranche payments in mid-to-late August. Per-acre specialty crop payment rates, and livestock payment rates are all currently available on farmers.gov/mfp.
What is grower payment criteria?
Eligible applicants must also have an average adjusted gross income (AGI) for tax years 2014, 2015, and 2016 of less than $900,000 or, 75 percent of the person’s or legal entity’s average AGI for tax years 2014, 2015, and 2016 must have been derived from farming and ranching. Applicants must also comply with the provisions of the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation regulations
How will eligible growers sign up for payments?
Signups begin from July 29, 2019 at USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices throughout the state. Growers will need to visit their local FSA office to register for the program, which runs until December 6, 2019.
You can locate FSA office for your county by visiting http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=ca&agency=fsa