Dairymen can opt out of Margin Protection Program without fee

Deadline for 2018 coverage is Dec. 15, 2017

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Holstein dairy cows grazing
Farm and Dairy file photo

WASHINGTON — Milk producers can enroll for 2018 coverage in the Margin Protection Program starting Sept. 1, but the USDA’s Farm Service Agency announced dairymen also have the option of opting out of the program for 2018.

“Secretary Perdue is using his authority to allow producers to withdraw from the MPP Dairy Program and not pay the annual administrative fee for 2018,” said Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Rob Johansson.

Johansson said the decision is in response to requests by the dairy industry and a number of MPP-Dairy program participants.

To opt out, a producer should not sign up during the annual registration period. By opting out, a producer would not receive any MPP-Dairy benefits if payments are triggered for 2018. The decision would be for 2018 only and is not retroactive.

About the Margin Protection Program

The voluntary program, established by the 2014 farm bill, 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.

Enrollment ends Dec. 15, 2017, for coverage in 2018. Participating farmers will remain in the program through Dec. 31, 2018, and pay a minimum $100 administrative fee for 2018 coverage.

Producers have the option of selecting a different coverage level from the previous coverage year during open enrollment.

If electing higher coverage for 2018, dairy producers can either pay the premium in full at the time of enrollment or pay 100 percent of the premium by Sept. 1, 2018. Premium fees may be paid directly to FSA or producers can work with their milk handlers to remit premiums on their behalf.

Dairy operations enrolling in the program must meet conservation compliance provisions and cannot participate in the Livestock Gross Margin Dairy Insurance Program.

Use MPP-Dairy online calculator

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 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.

For more information, visit FSA online at www.fsa.usda.gov/dairy or stop by a local FSA office.

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