Don’t expect a third round of Market Facilitation payments, despite a recent tweet by the president strongly suggesting one. Addressing the House Agriculture Committee, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue recently said too much is being read into the president’s tweet regarding a possible third MFP round.
“It was preceded by two, a major word, the two-letter word at the beginning—IF. If the trade does not materialize, as we anticipate it will, then he’s willing to support another one. But I’m telling farmers not to anticipate one, don’t expect one. Our goal is not to continue a Market Facilitation Program.”
Perdue continues to express confidence China will come through on its Phase One agreement, despite issues with the coronavirus.
“We were disappointed that we didn’t see prices respond more in the China Phase 1 deal. But, obviously, the market and all farmers, kind of act like they’re from Missouri, they want to see it rather than hear about it. I think that’s what we will see.”
Perdue also warns against overreliance on MFP.
“Market Facilitation Program was not a price support program, it was a trade disruption program, not price support. So, if we see trade increase and prices don’t go up, that’s a market signal to farmers who are producing too much.”
Perdue said net farm income is still up almost 12% from $83.5 billion to $93 billion, largely due to indemnity payments, prevented planting payments, and crop insurance, but this year’s $97 billion estimate would still be down more than 30% from a 2013 high.
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