December Farm Service Agency Newsletter and Updates for South Carolina Farmers and Ranchers

December 2018

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Topics for December

South Carolina

Farm Service Agency

1927 Thurmond Mall
Suite 100
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 803.806.3820
State Executive Director: 
Boone Peeler
State Committee:
Anthony Grant, Chairperson
Robert Battle
Bill Sarratt
Landy Weathers
Beth White
Administrative Officer:
Kenn Jameson
Farm Programs Chief:
Amy Turner
Farm Loan Programs Chief:
William Shelley
Producers can contact their local FSA Office for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Important Dates and Deadlines:
December 25:  Offices closed for Christmas Day.
January 1:  Offices closed for New Years Day.
January 15: Acreage Reporting Deadline for Apples, Blueberries, Canola, Peaches, and Fall-Seeded Small Grains
January 21:  Offices Closed for the Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 23-24:  SC AgriBiz & Farm Expo - Florence, SC

A Message from the State Executive Director

Greetings South Carolina farmers and ranchers. We are about to complete what I hope has been an overall good year for all of you.

The 2018 growing season certainly presented its challenges. 2 hurricanes and continued waterlogged fields have delayed harvesting in many of the areas throughout the state. Through these challenges, those of us involved in agriculture remain an optimistic group. We meet any obstacle we face head on and look forward to the next one, because we value the strength we gain from working through adversity.
 All of us at FSA want to thank you for all that you do and the sacrifices you have made. We hope our services were and continue to be beneficial for you, your family, and your operation.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy 2019.

--Boone Peeler 

USDA Market Facilitation Program

USDA launched the trade mitigation package aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. Producers of certain commodities can now sign up for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP).

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will administer MFP to provide payments to corn (fresh and processed), cotton, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean (fresh and processed), wheat, shelled almond, and fresh sweet cherry producers. An announcement about further payments will be made in the coming months, if warranted. 

The sign-up period for MFP runs through Jan. 15, 2019, with information and instructions provided at MFP provides payments to producers of eligible commodities who have been significantly impacted by actions of foreign governments resulting in the loss of traditional exports. Eligible producers should apply after harvest is complete, as payments will only be issued once production is reported. 

A payment will be issued on 50 percent of the producer’s total production, multiplied by the MFP rate for a specific commodity. A second payment period, if warranted, will be determined by the USDA.

For a list of initial MFP payments rates, view the MFP Fact Sheet.

MFP payments are capped per person or legal entity as follows:

  • A combined $125,000 for eligible crop commodities
  • A combined $125,000 for dairy production and hogs
  • A combined $125,000 for fresh sweet cherries and almonds

Applicants must also have an average adjusted gross income for tax years 2014, 2015, and 2016 of less than $900,000. Applicants must also comply with the provisions of the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation regulations.

Expanded Hog Timeline

USDA has expanded the timeline for producers with whom the Aug. 1, 2018, date does not accurately represent the number of head of live hogs they own. Producers may now choose any date between July 15 to Aug. 15, 2018, that correctly reflects their actual operation.