The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now announcing it’s trying to make a change in the trade aid program.
The possibility is another way to help farmers who have been unable to plant because of wet weather. USDA is trying to figure out how to get some type of payment to farmers who file prevent plant but also plant a cover crop on it later. USDA says it may provide a “minimal” MFP payment on prevented-planting acreage that is seeded to a harvestable MFP eligible cover crop.
The Department sending out these statements on disaster and trade related assistance June 10:
If I plant a second crop or cover crop, can I still get my full prevented planting payment? What about an MFP payment?
“If you choose to plant a cover crop with the potential to be harvested, because of this year’s adverse weather conditions, you may quality for a minimal amount of 2019 MFP assistance.” Crop insurance is not required to qualify for 2019 MFP assistance.
However, USDA requires that a producer plant a 2019 MFP-eligible crop to qualify for the 2019 MFP assistance.
“I see this as a return to a disaster program scenario that we’ve seen countless times in the last 30 or 40 years,” said Scott Irwin, an ag economist at the University of Illinois. “We used to do this with set-aside acres.” USDA is also reviewing the November 1 restriction for haying or grazing cover crops on prevented-planting acres.
Irwin believes it could be big news if the date is changed.
“November 1 means you have a pretty limited window for harvesting and grazing opportunities but it’s still useful in some areas,” said Irwin. “It becomes much more economically attractive and an interesting opportunity if you move that date to October 1 or September 15. Then the economic opportunities probably become a lot more interesting.”
Dairymen are in need of silage aside from the news USDA is considering adding potential MFP payments to select cover crops on prevent plant acres.
John Metzger, a dairy farmer from Kimmell, Indiana says he’s cutting silage weeks late.
“It’s two weeks behind,” said Metzger. “The value is not near of what it should have been.” The difficult spring has been hard for planting too. Livestock producers have been ‘mudding in’ corn because they need it for feed.
Metzger said, “With the wide area across the nation being short on feed, if we don’t have corn, where are we going to get it?” Farmers hope for more clarity to see if the potential change will aid with the lack of feed, bedding as well as weather and trade relief.
AgDay national reporter Betsy Jibben talks with Scott Irwin, an Agricultural Economist with the University of Illinois about his thoughts.