MPP-Dairy protects dairy producers by paying them when the difference between the national all-milk price and the national average feed cost (margin) falls below a certain dollar amount set by the producer; Changes to the program were authorized under the recent bipartisan budget agreement to provide dairy producers with more cost-effective protections from shifting milk and feed prices
WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reopened enrollment for the improved Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy), which will provide dairy producers with more cost-effective protections from shifting milk and feed prices. The program protects dairy producers by paying them when the difference between the national all-milk price and the national average feed cost (margin) falls below a certain dollar amount set by the producer. Several changes to the program were authorized in last month’s bipartisan budget agreement, including shifting calculations of the margin to a monthly basis, increasing covered production to 5 million pounds on the Tier 1 premium schedule, substantially lowering premium rates for Tier 1, and exempting limited resource, beginning, veteran, and disadvantaged producers from paying an administrative fee. The USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has set the enrollment period to run from April 9, 2018 to June 1, 2018.
“As the backbone of our economy, farmers throughout Minnesota and across the country must have our support during periods of low prices like we are experiencing now,” Klobuchar said. “With these improvements to the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, Minnesota dairy farmers and families will receive relief during this tough time.”
“For years, Minnesota’s dairy farmers have been dogged by slumping prices. A lot of farming families are really struggling to get by, and we need to do everything we can to support them,” Smith said. “I’m glad to see these changes to the Margin Protection Program because we owe it to our farmers to provide them with stability, and certainty for our ag economy.”
Klobuchar, who is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, helped craft the 2014 Farm Bill and served on the conference committee responsible for negotiating the final version of the legislation. The five-year bill passed with strong bipartisan support. It reduces the deficit by $23 billion, strengthens the safety net for Minnesota farmers and ranchers, streamlines conservation programs, and supports homegrown energy.
Smith fought for a spot on the Senate Agriculture Committee, and earlier this year she brought together Minnesotans with a deep understanding of farm policy to be a part of her Farm Bill Working Group. Since kicking off the group, Smith and her office have been holding meetings across the state because she wants to make sure Minnesota priorities are included in the upcoming Farm Bill. Smith is also a leader of the Rural Development and Energy Subcommittee, and in that leadership role she will advocate to bolster job creation and expand economic opportunities for producers, rural businesses, and communities across the state.