US Trade Mitigation Package for Almonds Announced
MODESTO, Calif. – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the provisions for almonds to participate in the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), which is a direct payment program for eligible almond growers. The MFP is one of three programs in the $12 billion mitigation package announced in July by the USDA to address damages suffered by agricultural industries as a result of trade retaliatory measures imposed in a number of export markets.
“We appreciate efforts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to work out the necessary details to provide direct payments to almond growers to help ease the pain of the retaliatory tariffs imposed by China and Turkey,” said Elaine Trevino, President and CEO of the Almond Alliance of California. “Direct payments will help offset the impact of the retaliatory tariffs already being felt by almond growers in California.”
Producers of almonds can now sign up for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), which is established under the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). MFP payments are based on 3 cents per edible meat weight pound of almonds and are limited to a $125,000 cap per person or legal entity. Eligible applicants must also have an average adjusted gross income for tax years 2014, 2015 and 2016 of less than $900,000.
“While the mitigation initiatives are helpful, they will not approach the anticipated economic losses and long-term impact these retaliatory tariffs will have on our trade relationships and the considerable investments made in these key markets over the years," said Julie Adams, Vice President of Global Trade, Regulatory and Government Affairs at the Almond Board of California. “We remain hopeful for a quick resolution to ensure open and fair trade so consumers around the globe can continue to enjoy California almonds."
Producers may apply for MFP beginning September 24, 2018, through January 15, 2019, however payments will only be made after an eligible producer has harvested 100% of their crop and provided appropriate documentation verifying their production.
How to Apply:
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will administer the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) to provide payments to almond growers.
The sign-up period for MFP is now open and runs through January 15, 2019. Information and instructions are provided at www.farmers.gov/mfp applications can be completed at a local FSA office or submitted electronically by email or fax. The Almond Board is working with the Almond Alliance to develop further details on the program, including program eligibility criteria and how to apply. This information will be distributed shortly to almond industry members; in addition, workshops for almond growers regarding program participation are now being scheduled and will be announced shortly.