With the recent changes authorized under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 to the Margin Protection Program or MPP, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has announced that dairy producers can begin enrolling now until June 1, 2018
But before you do, Michigan Farm Bureau Dairy and Livestock Specialist Ernie Birchmeier advises dairy producers to attend one of 11 regional Michigan State University Extension meetings, taking place from April 25 to May 3, to learn more about the specific changes and potential benefits.
“Dairy operations must make a new coverage election for 2018, even if they had enrolled during the previous 2018 signup period,” Birchmeier said. “Coverage elections made during the open enrollment period for 2018 will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018, which is great news in knowing more definitively what the potential payback to a producer might be.”
MSU Extension Dairy Educator Faith Cullens said the two-hour workshops will provide dairy producers an overview of changes to the MPP and provide additional management insights to assist in the decision making process.
“These workshops are designed to help dairy producers answer the hard questions about MPP—whether to sign up, what margin coverage level to select and how much milk to cover,” Cullens said.
“Our speakers will demonstrate the updated USDA web-based MPP Calculator designed 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.”
Cullens said while there is no charge to attend any of the MPP meetings, organizers are asking dairy producers to RSVP by contacting the respective location’s MSU Extension Dairy Specialist (see table above for name and email). Producers can also register online.
MPP is designed to protect dairy producers by paying them when the difference between the national all-milk price and the national average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount elected by the producer.
Major changes include under the new MPP:
All dairy operations desiring coverage must sign up during the enrollment period and submit the appropriate form (CCC-782). 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.
The online resource, which has been updated and is now 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. 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.