WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture reminds dairy farmers of the June 1 deadline to enroll in the improved Margin Protection Program for Dairy. Many producers will see payments in early June, depending on the coverage they elect. The program protects dairy producers by paying them based on the difference between the national all-milk price and the national average feed cost. The 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act made several changes to the safety net program to provide better protections for dairy producers from shifting milk and feed prices.
“MPP-Dairy is an important, improved safety net tool for the dairy industry,” said Bill Northey, under secretary for farm production and conservation. “We encourage all dairy producers to carefully weigh their options and make their way to one of our 2,100 FSA county offices nationwide to discuss signing up for the program before the June 1 deadline.”
• Calculation of the margin period is monthly rather than bi-monthly.
• Covered production is increased to 5 million pounds on the Tier 1 premium schedule, and premium rates for Tier 1 are substantially lowered.
• An exemption from paying an administrative fee for limited resource, beginning, veteran, and socially disadvantaged producers. Dairy operators enrolled in the previous 2018 enrollment period that qualify for this exemption under the new provisions may request a refund.
Signup for 2018 will be retroactive to Jan. 1, of this year. Margins for February and March 2018 have already been announced and payments for those months, along with potential payments for April, will be issued in June based on producer elections.
All dairy operations must make new coverage elections for 2018, even if the operation was enrolled during the previous 2018 signup period. Dairy producers should use the MPP-Dairy Decision Tool for support in making related enrollment decisions.
All dairy operations interested in MPP-Dairy coverage must sign up during the enrollment period and submit form CCC-782 to FSA to enroll. Dairy operations may still “opt out” by not submitting a form.
For more information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/dairy. Contact your local FSA county office to enroll in the program. To find your local FSA county office, visit https://www.farmers.gov/.