The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on April 12 that dairy farms participating in the Margin Protection Program (MPP) can now update their production history when a family member joins the workforce.
The MPP was created in 2014 as a part of the Farm Bill. It is designed to help dairy farmers when the difference between the price of milk and feed costs fall below levels of protection.
The USDA’s recent ruling officially went into effect on April 13. Any operation that is enrolled in the MPP and had an intergenerational transfer will be able to increase dairy operations production history during the 2017 registration.
"This change not only helps to strengthen a family dairy operation, it also helps new dairy farmers get started in the family business, while ensuring that safety net coverage remains available for these growing farms," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "When children, grandchildren or their spouses become part of a dairy operation that is enrolled in MPP, the production from the dairy cows they bring with them into the business can now be protected. By strengthening the farm safety net, expanding credit options and growing domestic and foreign markets, USDA is committed to helping American farming operations remain successful."
A membership costs $100 annually. It provides basic catastrophic protection, which includes coverage for 90 percent of milk production at a $4.00 margin coverage level. For other premiums, operations can protect up to 90 percent of production history with margin coverage levels ranging from $4.50 to $8.00.
More information on the MPP and the 2014 Farm Bill can be found on www.fda.usda.gov/dairy, or by visiting a local FSA office.