The USDA has announced that direct cranberry grower payments under the Market Facilitation Program for tariff relief have opened as of Monday, July 29, 2019. Sign-up for the program goes through December 6, 2019. The first step is for growers to fill out an application with USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). Growers should call their local field office and schedule an appointment for filling out the required form for payment. A list of FSA offices as well as more information on this program is available online at www.farmers.gov/manage/mfp.
Details of the grower payment program are as follows:
- The payments will be made at a rate of 3 cents per pound on 21,371 pounds per acre, which equals $641.13 per acre. The total allocation for cranberries is $26.2 million.
- Acreage will be based on 2019 figures as per USDA/FSA data.
- There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per grower.
- Eligible growers need to have an annual Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $900,000 OR LESS. If 75% of your total AGI is farm related, then no limit applies.
- Payments will be broken into three installments with only the first payment guaranteed. Subsequent payments would be made at the discretion of the USDA and based on market conditions and trade opportunities in the coming months.
- The first payment will be 50% of a grower’s total calculated payment and will be made starting in late August. The second payment would be made in November and the third and final payment in January 2020. Again, the final two payments are made at the discretion of USDA.
- All payments will be administered and made by USDA/FSA.
This MFP payment program for cranberry growers is a result of a collaborative effort by members of the U.S. Cranberry industry, led by the grower associations of Massachusetts, New Jersey and Wisconsin. Additional support has been provided by Ocean Spray Cranberries and legislative delegations, particularly Representative Keating in Massachusetts and Representative Duffy in Wisconsin. If you have any questions, please contact your local FSA office or your local grower organization.