USDA Opens MPP Enrollment, Allows Farmers to Opt Out for 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) responded to requests from NMPF to allow farmers more flexibility in the use of risk management tools by announcing on Aug. 31 that dairy farmers currently enrolled in the Margin Protection Program (MPP) can opt out of it in 2018.

Producers wishing to opt out should not sign up during the annual registration period that began Sept. 1 and closes Dec. 15. By opting out, a producer will not need to pay the $100 annual administrative fee, but will not receive any MPP-dairy protection if payments are triggered for 2018. This disenrollment option is for 2018 only and is not retroactive.

“The MPP in its current form has been a disappointment to many dairy farmers, which is why NMPF has been working both with USDA and Congress to make significant improvements to the program. We had earlier suggested to USDA that, given this level of dissatisfaction, one option would be to allow farmers to opt out of the MPP in the coming year,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF.

 “Looking ahead, Congress must make necessary improvements to the MPP so that the program provides a more effective, affordable safety net – one that provides support when farmers need it. We are currently working with lawmakers to secure such program improvements that will restore farmers’ faith in the value of the MPP. We also will continue to work with USDA and Congress to develop additional risk management options for dairy producers,” Mulhern said.

The USDA has more information about the MPP on its website, with additional resources available also at its Future for Dairy website.