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In the News: Staff Columns

Enrollment in revamped Margin Protection Program reopens

Friday, April 6, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Aaron Stauffacher, assoc. dir. government affairs
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USDA announced that dairy farmers will be able to revisit their 2018 Margin Protection Program (MPP) decisions from April 9 until June 1.

Dairy farmers must make a new coverage election for 2018, even if already enrolled from the 2018 sign-up period. New coverage elections made for 2018 will be retroactive to January 1, 2018. All dairy farms must sign up during that period and submit the appropriate form (CCC-782). Dairy farms may still “opt out” by not submitting a form.

The February Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 made several changes to improve the dairy safety net tool. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recognizes the depressed prices dairy farmers are currently facing and encourages farmers to see how the changes to MPP could mitigate some financial hardships.

The changes include:

  • Shifting from bi-monthly to monthly margin calculations to better reflect fluctuations in the marketplace and trigger payments more frequently. 
  • Increasing Tier I MPP coverage levels. Formerly capped at the first 4 million pounds of production, the increase makes the first 5 million pounds of production eligible for reduced premium at higher coverage options.
  • Reducing premium rates for Tier I coverage to make those higher options of margin coverage more affordable.
  • Exempting beginning, veteran, disadvantaged, and low-income farmers from having to pay the program’s administrative fee. Qualifying dairy farmers enrolled in the previous 2018 enrollment period may request a refund.

Read USDA’s press release with access to an online resource on our website.

USDA is mailing postcards to dairy farmers notifying them of the changes.

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