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USDA Secretary Comments on 2020 MFP Prospects


Dr. Sonny Perdue noted on March 5th that prospects for a 2020 MFP payment were remote.  Despite requests by Rep. Mike Conway (R-TX) to consider support for farmers, Sec. Perdue noted that there was no immediate plan for federal support.


Perdue has stated that MFP was not a price support program, but was to compensate farmers for trade disruption.  In view of the Phase-One agreement and the anticipation that China will commence purchasing and receiving agricultural commodities, the USDA is unwilling at this time to commit to additional support.


Despite the trade agreement, the reality is that farmers are facing decisions on loans and planting within weeks, and China has not committed to purchases, despite importing soybeans from Brazil subsequent to signing the trade agreement.


Given the socioeconomic and political implications of support funding, a supplementary payment, either under the MFP or some other program, is likely despite current negative assertions by the Secretary of Agriculture.