BELLEFONTE – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced an extended enrollment deadline for the new dairy Margin Protection Program.
The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.
“Extending the enrollment deadline to Dec. 5 will ensure dairy farmers have enough time to familiarize with the new and improved risk management tools created through the 2014 Farm Bill,” stated U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-5), a subcommittee chairman on the House Agriculture Committee.
“I encourage producers to fully evaluate coverage options under the Margin Protection Program so they can make informed decisions well in advance of the new enrollment deadline.”
Participating farmers must remain in the program through 2018 and pay a minimum $100 administrative fee each year. Producers have the option of selecting a different coverage level during open enrollment each year.
“Farmers should also take advantage of the new online resources available through USDA that enable producers to combine unique operation data with future price and market projections,” Thompson stated.
“These new tools enable producers to quickly and easily identify the level of coverage that is most appropriate for their specific needs.”
USDA’s Online Web Resources are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool.
USDA also extended the opportunity for public comments on both the Margin Protection Program and the Dairy Product Donation Program until Dec. 15. Comments can be submitted to USDA via the regulations.gov Web site at http://go.usa.gov/GJSA.
Thompson is a member of the House Agriculture Committee and served on the Conference Committee that was tasked with resolving differences between the House and Senate versions of the 2014 Farm Bill.
The 2014 Farm Bill, which included the creation of the dairy Margin Protection Program, was signed into law on Feb. 7.