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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Thompson Reminds Dairy Farmers: Enrollment Period Extended for Improved Margin Protection Program

Enrollment for safety net program extended to June 22

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representatives Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson today reminded local dairy producers that the enrollment period for the federal safety net program has been extended to June 22, 2018.

Rep. Thompson urged dairy producers to evaluate their participation in the new and improved Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy), which will provide better protections for dairy producers from shifting milk and feed prices.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) previously extended the re-enrollment deadline through June 8, 2018. The deadline is being extended a second time to ensure that dairy producers are given every opportunity to make a calculated decision and enroll in the program if they choose.

This will be the last opportunity for producers to take advantage of key adjustments Congress made to provisions of the MPP-Dairy program under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 to strengthen its support of dairy producers. USDA encourages producers contemplating enrollment to use the online web resource at www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool to calculate the best levels of coverage for their dairy operation.

“USDA is extending the deadline a second time, and I encourage our local dairy producers to use this week-and-a-half extension to take a look and see if this is something that would benefit them,” Rep. Thompson said. “Many producers are experiencing additional financial hardship – especially in Pennsylvania after losing contracts. It is my hope that the improvements to the MPP-Dairy program will help producers during this uncertain time in the industry.”

ABOUT THE PROGRAM:

The MPP-Dairy program protects participating dairy producers by compensating 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.

Changes include:

Calculations of the margin period is monthly rather than bi-monthly.

· Raised the catastrophic coverage level from $4.00 per hundred weight (cwt) to $5.00.

Covered production is increased to 5 million pounds on the Tier 1 premium schedule, and premium rates for Tier 1 are substantially lowered.
An exemption from paying an administrative fee for limited resource, beginning, veteran, and disadvantaged producers. Dairy operators enrolled in the previous 2018 enrollment period that qualify for this exemption under the new provisions may request a refund.

· Expanded livestock assistance to allow for the development of insurance policies for livestock producers, including dairy farmers.

Dairy farmers can enroll by contacting their local USDA service center. A full list of centers (search by county) can be found here.

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