I recently took some time away from the office traveling the backroads of rural America to the Land of Lincoln.
It seemed appropriate in this election year to visit the home of this historical president. It was also fitting since Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act of Congress establishing the independent Department of Agriculture of which I am employed.
Recently the USDA announced that it will extend the deadline for dairy producers to enroll in the Margin Protection Program (MPP) for dairy to Dec. 16, from the previous deadline of Sept. 30.
This voluntary dairy safety net program provides financial assistance to participating dairy producers when the margin — the difference between the price of milk and feed costs — falls below the coverage level selected by the producer.
Dairy producers can calculate levels of coverages available from MPP based on price projections using the USDA web tool available at www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool.
To learn more about the Margin Protection Program for dairy, you can visit www.fsa.usda.gov/dairy or stop by your FSA County office.
Dairy operations enrolling in the program must meet conservation compliance provisions and cannot participate in the Livestock Gross Margin Dairy Insurance Program through Risk Management.
Concerned for reduced forage quality? Reduced forage quality is now considered a production loss for weather disaster assistance coverage under the new buy-up provisions of the FSA Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP).
This safety net is important for cattlemen who produce non-insurable forages for feeding livestock.
Previously, FSA only considered a decrease in overall forage tonnage produced when determining if the producer suffered a compensable loss after a qualifying weather event.
Under FSA’s new NAP buy-up provisions, a decrease in forage quality — such as protein content — is also considered.
To receive coverage for the 2017 crop year, producers must enroll their eligible forage in NAP by Nov. 20. Beginning, limited resource and targeted underserved farmers or producers are eligible for a waiver of the NAP service fee and a 50 percent premium reduction in buy-up provisions.
Home sweet home
Although it is always great to get away and see new things, I always find it makes me appreciate what I have in my own backyard. There is nothing like hearing the rooster crowing at the crack of dawn and seeing the cattle out grazing in the pasture.
With the air turning crisper I start thinking of drinking cider, pumpkin picking, hay rides and attending the Farm Science Review. The USDA will again be represented Sept. 20-22 in London, Ohio.
Please stop by at 577/ABBooth4 on Soybean Avenue and chat a bit and ask FSA personnel all those pondering program questions.
That’s all for now!
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