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Producers Have Until December 5 to Sign Up for New Federal Safety Net Program

October 7, 2014

Dairy farmers have until December 5 to sign up for the new federal dairy safety net, known as the Margin Protection Program, or MPP. To help farmers understand the program, NMPF has a variety of on-line tools, including a five-page written summary, a downloadable calculator, and a narrated slide presentation that walks the viewer through the details.

These and other materials are available through both the NMPF website and the Future for Dairy website. The Future for Dairy site is serving as an information hub for the new program.

The calculator allows farmers to enter their own milk production and commodity price data to gauge the new program’s likely impact on their operations. It complements a similar tool created by a consortium of land grant universities and available through the Agriculture Department website.

The 21-minute slide presentation covers who is eligible for the program, how to sign up, and what the fees and payments might look like under various scenarios. Also covered are the basic concept of the program, what it replaces, and how it compares to the previous dairy safety net.

“Dairy farmers are starting to make their participation decisions,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “The calculator and the other NMPF tools should help them make the best choices for their individual circumstances.”

NMPF was instrumental in developing the new safety net and is strongly encouraging farmers to sign up. Rather than supporting milk prices, the program allows producers to insure their profit margins on a sliding scale. Basic coverage is free, aside from $100 annual administrative fee. Producers can sign up for the remainder of 2014, all of 2015, or both, through the end of November.

Mulhern (pictured) led a NMPF seminar last week at the World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin to discuss the sign-up process for the MPP.