US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue encourages dairy producers to enroll in the new and improved Margin Protection Program for Dairy(MPP-Dairy). Changes to the program were authorized under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The final date to enroll is June 1.
The program is designed to provide better protection for dairy producers from shifting milk and feed prices by paying them when the difference between the national all-milk price and the national average feed cost (the margin) falls below the dollar amount selected by the producer.
Changes include calculations of the margin period from monthly to bi-monthly, covered production increased to five million pounds on the Tier 1 premium schedule, and premium rates for Tier 1 were substantially lowered. It also offers an exemption from the administrative fee for limited resource, beginning, veteran, and disadvantaged producers. Dairy operators previously signed up in the 2018 enrollment period that qualify for this exemption under the new provisions are eligible for a refund.
Dairy operators must elect for new coverage for 2018, even if they enrolled during the previous 2018 sign up period. All dairy operations desiring coverage must sign up during the enrollment period and submit an appropriate form (CCC-782). Coverage elections made for 2018 will be retroactive to January 1, 2018. Dairy operations may still opt out by not submitting a form.
The USDA helps producers determine the level of coverage under the MPP-Dairy that will provide them with the strongest safety net under a variety of conditions. The online resource at www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool allows dairy farmers to quickly and easily combine unique operation data and other key variables to calculate their coverage needs based on price projections. Producers can also review historical data or estimate future coverage based on data projections. The secure site can be accessed via computer, smartphone, tablet, or any other platform.
Additional information about USDA programs administered through FSA is available at www.fsa.usda.gov. Contact the Grant County FSA Office at (605) 432-6570.