Northwest Iowa — Dairy producers can now sign up for government help to protect their margin for next year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency in Iowa says that enrollment is now open for dairy producers for 2017 coverage in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy. 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.
The USDA says the Margin Protection Program gives participating dairy producers the flexibility to select coverage levels best suited for their operation. Enrollment ends on September 30, 2016, for coverage in calendar year 2017. Participating farmers will 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.
USDA has a web tool to help producers determine the level of coverage under the Margin Protection Program 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 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 needs, based on data projections.
For more information, they say you can visit the FSA online at www.fsa.usda.gov/dairy or stop by a local FSA office to learn more about the Margin Protection Program. To find a local FSA office in your area, visit offices.usda.gov.