USDA sets enrollment period for improved dairy safety net tool

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

Based on feedback from dairy producers, Congress made several changes to MPP-Dairy in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. Pic: ©Getty Images/steverts
Based on feedback from dairy producers, Congress made several changes to MPP-Dairy in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. Pic: ©Getty Images/steverts
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is encouraging dairy producers to consider enrolling in the new and improved Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy), which will provide better protections for dairy producers from shifting milk and feed prices.

With changes authorized under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) has set the enrollment period to run from April 9, 2018 to June 1, 2018.

The MPP-Dairy is a voluntary risk management program for dairy producers authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill through Dec. 31, 2018.

The MPP-Dairy offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

Changes to MPP-Dairy

Based on feedback from dairy producers, Congress made several changes to MPP-Dairy in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, including calculations of the margin period moving to monthly rather than bi-monthly.

Also, covered production is increased to 5m pounds on the Tier 1 premium schedule, and premium rates for Tier 1 have been substantially lowered.

There is also an exemption from paying an administrative fee for limited resource, beginning, veteran, and disadvantaged producers. Dairy operators enrolled in the previous 2018 enrollment period that qualify for this exemption under the new provisions may request a refund.

About the program

The program offers dairy producers catastrophic coverage, at no cost to the producer, other than an annual $100 administrative fee (which is waived in some cases); and various levels of buy-up coverage.

Tool to explore options

USDA has a web tool to help 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 tool will be live from April 9, the first day of sign-up, to reflect the Budget changes.

The online resource allows dairy farmers to 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 will be accessible via computer, smartphone, tablet or any other platform.

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