Market News & Headlines >> Dairy Margin Protection Program Signup to Start

Milk producers can enroll in the new dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP-dairy) starting on Tuesday, Sept., 2, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Thursday.

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. Enrollment ends on Nov. 28, 2014, for 2014 and 2015.

USDA also launched a new Web tool to help producers determine the level of coverage under the MPP that will provide them with the strongest safety net under a variety of conditions. The online resource, available at, 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.

MPP-dairy, which replaces the Milk Income Loss Contract program, gives participating dairy producers the flexibility to select coverage levels best suited for their operation. MPP-dairy provides basic catastrophic level coverage for a $100 annual administrative fee and greater coverage for a premium in addition to the administrative fee. Participating farmers must remain in the program through 2018 and have the option of selecting a different coverage level during open enrollment each year.

Dairy operations enrolling in the new program must comply with conservation compliance provisions and cannot participate in the Livestock Gross Margin dairy (LGM-dairy) insurance program. Farmers already participating in the LGM-dairy program may register for the MPP-dairy, but the new margin program will only begin once their LGM–dairy coverage has ended.

The MPP-dairy final rule was published in the Federal Register on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. The Farm Service Agency (FSA), which administers the program, also will open a 60-day public comment period on the dairy program. The agency wants to hear from dairy operators to determine whether the current regulation accurately addresses management changes, such as adding new family members to the dairy operation or inter-generational transfers. Written comments must be submitted by Oct. 28, 2014, at or