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Source: US State of Missouri

Deadlines for Farm Programs Loom

Throughout Missouri, harvest season is upon us. If farmers aren’t in the fields now, they soon will be. The good news is that we’re closer to putting this year behind us. I’m sure there are exceptions, but 2019 was a year many in agriculture would just as soon forget. Between difficult weather and international trade conflicts, we’ve endured more challenges than usual.

With that in mind, it’s good to take note of some programs intended to help farmers recover from losses or help them survive in an increasingly complex agricultural market.

Farmers suffering losses due to trade tariffs have until Dec. 6 to apply for USDA’s Market Facilitation Program, or MFP. The federal government will provide up to $14.5 billion in direct payments to producers of crops, as well as those raising hogs and milking cows.

Camden and Pulaski County producers affected by natural disasters in 2019 may be eligible for assistance through WHIP+, or Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus. Despite the name, the program also offers relief for farmers who suffered crop, tree or vine loss due to floods. Just two counties of the 16th Senatorial District are included in the published list of covered areas, but producers in other areas may be eligible if they can document they were directly impacted by qualifying disaster events.

Applications are now being accepted for the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. The deadline to benefit from these popular safety nets is March 15, 2020. ARC helps fill the gap when crop revenue declines below a specified level. The PLC program kicks in when commodity prices fall. Both programs require producers to have a valid adjusted gross income certification (form CCC-941) on file with their recording county FSA office. Payments will not be made without the form.

Organic producers may qualify for federal funds to help cover the cost of receiving and maintaining their certification. The deadline for applications to the Organic Certification Cost Share Program is Oct. 31. Eligible expenses include application fees, travel expenses for inspectors, sales assessments and postage. The program covers up to 75 percent of certification costs, up to a maximum of $750.

To learn more about any of these programs, contact your FSA county office.

Finally, all Missourians should be aware that farmers, and farm machinery, will be on the roads in the coming weeks. Please be alert for slow-moving equipment and be patient as you drive. Transportation incidents are a leading cause of death for farmers. Let’s all do our part to keep them safe.

It’s my honor to serve as your senator for the 16th District. If you have questions or need any assistance, please call my office at 573-751-5713 or log onto my webpage at for more information.