Latest News

Producers Have an Extra 7 Weeks to Sign Up for Margin Protection in 2016

October 7, 2015

Dairy producers have more than a month — until November 20 — to sign up for 2016 coverage under the dairy Margin Protection Program.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack extended the enrollment period under the dairy safety net program on September 22, a week after NMPF expressed concern that the original Sept. 30 deadline coincided with the fall harvest in many areas and also with the enrollment deadline for USDA’s Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs.

“A similar extension last fall greatly helped to boost enrollment in MPP for 2015,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “This extension should likewise enhance participation in the program for 2016.”

To help farmers make decisions, NMPF has updated tools at, a website serving as a clearinghouse for MPP information. Included is a calculator allowing farmers to estimate future margins based on their forecasts of feed and milk prices.

MPP helps protect against the kind of catastrophic losses that many farmers experienced in 2009 and again in 2012. It allows farmers to insure the difference between milk prices and feed costs. Producers insure their operations on a sliding scale, deciding both how much of their production to cover and the level of margin to protect.

Slightly more than half of U.S. dairy operations signed up in the first MPP enrollment period last fall. The program has issued payments to those with the maximum $8 coverage in each of four bi-monthly coverage windows this year. Under the previous Milk Income Loss Contract program, no payments would have been authorized so far this year.