USDA Sec. Northey: Over $1B in MFP Payments Already Out

Sec. Bill Northey at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill.
Sec. Bill Northey at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill.

Bill Northey, undersecretary for farm production and conservation, was in attendance at the 2019 Farm Progress Show and was excited about trade developments with Japan over the weekend at the G-7 Summit in France.

With the first round of MFP payments already in some mailboxes, Eric Pfeiffer asked the undersecretary when they will evaluate the trade environment to determine if rounds two and three will be necessary.

“That second payment is probably (coming) November, the third payment maybe January,” said Northey. “As we get closer to that time, maybe September or October, we will take a look at that and see what the trade situation is. We have over $1 billion worth of payments that have gone out that first week. 250,000 producers so far have signed up.”

Northey was looking forward to seeing all of the new and developing technology at the show in Decatur, Ill.

“On my farm, I was running equipment that was depreciated out on somebody else’s farm first,” he said. “I always went to see what I’m getting to use 10 or 15 years from now, but it’s fun to be able to see it.”

Sec. Northey also appreciates the show as an opportunity for USDA feedback.

“I also like to be able to hear what folks are saying about USDA,” he said. “Are there things that we need to do different and better, and what is their feeling about Market Facilitation Program? We have a disaster program that’s going to be coming, probably, in a few weeks and what their expectations are around some of those things as well.”

Northey said the responses he’s received on MFP from producers has been generally positive.

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