USDA has announced that enrollment for the new dairy program – the Margin Protection Program – will begin on September 2.
MPP replaces Milk Income Loss Contracts.
The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson commended USDA on their timely rollout of the dairy Margin Protection Program and for including provisions that will help America’s family farmers with their risk management needs.
“America’s family-run dairy farms are in great need for these kind of risk management tools to help them manage risk that is beyond their control,” said Johnson.
“The family farmer provision, included as part of the program, will allow many of this nation’s family-operated dairy farms to breathe a sigh of relief now that they have adequate risk management tools in hand. It is unfortunate that the Congress did not include a dairy stabilization program that would have helped take the volatility out of milk prices,” Johnson added.
USDA also announced the Dairy Product Donation Program (DPDP), which will donate dairy products to low-income people, including food banks, state and local agencies and advocacy organizations.
Dairy farmers should also be aware of an online tool USDA has created to help them determine their level of coverage under MPP. Follow this link to use the tool.
The Margin Protection Program, which replaces the Milk Income Loss Contract program, gives participating dairy producers the flexibility to select coverage levels best suited for their operation. Enrollment begins Sept. 2 and ends on Nov. 28, 2014, for 2014 and 2015. Participating farmers must remain in the program through 2018 and pay a minimum $100 administrative fee each year. Producers have the option of selecting a different coverage level during open enrollment each year.
Dairy operations enrolling in the new program must comply with conservation compliance provisions and cannot participate in the Livestock Gross Margin dairy insurance program. Farmers already participating in the Livestock Gross Margin program may register for the Margin Protection Program, but the new margin program will only begin once their Livestock Gross Margin coverage has ended.
Call or visit your local USDA Farm Services Agency office to learn more or to enroll in MPP. You can also view or download the USDA’s fact sheet on MPP here.