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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended the deadline for agricultural producers to certify 2018 crop production for payments through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) to May 17.

The deadline was extended from May 1 because heavy rainfall and snowfall have delayed harvests in may parts of the country, preventing producers from certifying acres, the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced Monday.

Producers can certify production by contacting the Bladen County FSA office at 450 Smith Circle in Elizabethtown or calling county Executive Director Chris Tatum at (910) 862-3179 Ex. 2. Farmers also can certify production online at farmers.gov.

The Market Facilitation Program helps producers who have been significantly affected by foreign tariffs, resulting in the loss of traditional exports.

Payments will be issued only if eligible producers certify before the May 17 deadline.

The MFP provides payments to producers of corn, cotton, sorghum, soybeans, wheat, dairy, hogs, fresh sweet cherries and shelled almonds. FSA will issue payments based on the producer’s certified total production of the MFP commodity multiplied by the MFP rate for that specific commodity.