KENTON — Agricultural producers in northwest Ohio counties are eligible for payments from the federal government of between $63 and $70 per acre under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2019 Market Facilitation Program.
Sign-up started Monday and runs through Dec. 6 for the program, which Hardin County Ohio State University Cooperative Extension Agent Mark Badertscher called a “pretty major announcement” for farmers.
The program is designed to help offset market affects from retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural products and is a continuation of the program that started in 2018, Badertscher said.
Producers must go to their county Farm Service Agency offices and complete the necessary paperwork to receive the funds. Farmers are eligible to receive the following per-acre payments: Allen, $66; Auglaize, $68; Hardin, $60; Logan, $66; Mercer, $63; Van Wert, $70.
The number of acres for which payment is being sought must not exceed the total number of acres planted in 2018, according to the USDA.
Assistance through the MFP is based on a single county payment rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings of MFP-eligible crops in 2019. Those per-acre payments are not dependent on which of those crops are planted in 2019. A producer’s total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings, Badertscher said.
Producers are eligible in round one of the MFP to receive 50% of the published per acre payment. Badertscher said farmers will be eligible for an additional 25% of that published amount in round two of the program, and another 25% in round three — if those rounds are approved at a later date.
The 2018 payments were based on the number of bushels produced by farmers.
Additional federal payments are available this for farmers who plant cover crops on idle farmland by Aug. 1. That figure for Hardin County producers is $7.50 per acre in the first of three anticipated phases.
County payment rates nationwide range from $15 to $150 per acre, depending on the impact of unjustified trade retaliation in that county, according to a USDA press release. The following crops are eligible for payment under this single county payment rate: alfalfa hay, barley, canola, corn, dried beans, dry peas, extra-long staple cotton, flaxseed, lentils, millet, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, rye, safflower, sesame seed, small and large chickpeas, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat.
For more information on MFP, including rates for specialty crops, nuts, dairy and hogs, visit http://www.farmers.gov/mfp