Faso Highlights Changes to MPP-Dairy Program, Announces Reopening of Enrollment Period

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Washington, April 3, 2018 | comments

Washington D.C. – Today, Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook) applauded the reopening of enrollment for the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The MPP program recently underwent changes as authorized under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

The enrollment period will run from April 9, 2018 to June 1, 2018. Dairy producers should contact one of Congressman Faso’s offices with any questions.

“Dairy farmers are in the midst of a prolonged economic crisis as market conditions, trade barriers, and ineffective government policies have created a perfect storm of damaging factors. After consultation with dairy farmers in the district and my Ag Advisory Committee, I have been working with my colleagues to bring changes to the Margin Protection Program enacted in 2014,” said Faso. “The version of the program enacted in 2014 did not do enough to support our dairy industry and has contributed to the current situation. With recent changes included in the Bipartisan Budget Deal, dairy farmers will be in a better position than they were before.

“Dairy farmers are critical to the Upstate economy. In New York, the dairy industry accounts for $2.4 billion a year in business, which is roughly 45% of farming revenue in the state. These changes were needed and I will continue to push for further improvements in the upcoming Farm Bill and in every other possible avenue,” Faso continued.

“I appreciate John working with the Ag Committee to make these improvements that will be helpful to dairy farmers,” said Faso’s Agriculture Advisory Committee Chairman Eric Ooms. “I am sure John will continue to work with upstate farmers to help make this situation better in the upcoming Farm Bill.”

The Bipartisan Budget Act made the following changes to MPP-Dairy:

MPP-Dairy:

  • Dramatically reduced premiums to help small and medium dairy farmers obtain more meaningful coverage;
  • Adjusted first tier coverage to include the first five million pounds of milk production;
  • Waived the administrative fee for beginning, veteran, and disadvantaged farmers;
  • Monthly margin evaluations to make the program more accurate

Background as provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture:
The program protects dairy producers by paying them when the difference between the national all-milk price and the national average feed cost (margin) falls below a certain dollar amount set by the producer.

Changes include:

  • Calculations of the margin basis 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 disadvantaged producers. Dairy operators enrolled in the previous 2018 enrollment period that qualify for this exemption under the new provisions may request a refund.

Dairy operations must make a new coverage election for 2018, even if the farm enrolled during the previous 2018 signup period. Coverage elections made for 2018 will be retroactive to January 1, 2018. All dairy operations desiring coverage must sign up during the enrollment period and submit an appropriate form (CCC-782) and dairy operations may still “opt out” by not submitting a form. All outstanding balances for 2017 and prior years must be paid in full before 2018 coverage is approved. 

Dairy producers can participate in FSA’s MPP-Dairy or the Risk Management Agency’s Livestock Gross Margin Insurance Plan for Dairy Cattle (LGM-Dairy), but not both. During the 2018 enrollment period, only producers with an active LGM-Dairy policy who have targeted marketings insured in 2018 months will be allowed to enroll in MPP-Dairy by June 1, 2018; however, their coverage will start only after active target marketings conclude under LGM-Dairy.

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 online resource, available 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.

USDA is mailing postcards advising dairy producers of the changes. For more information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/dairy or contact your local USDA service center.

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