USDA last week provided more specific information about the extent of coverage chosen by dairy farmers enrolled for 2015 in the new Margin Protection Program authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, including a state-by-state breakdown of the percentage of farms using the new safety net.
Earlier this week, the USDA announced that more than half of U.S. dairy operations have enrolled in the MPP. Friday, USDA provided an estimate that 55% of those farms elected to pay additional premiums to purchase a higher level of coverage, above the basic, $4 per hundredweight level offered for $100 per year.
National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern said that the enrollment level represents "a vote of confidence in this new program, and highlights the importance of the MPP at a time when farmers need protection as margins will be challenged because of adverse conditions."
The debut of the Dairy Margin Protection Program, he said, comes during a year when margins will be compressed, making it the right solution at the right time for our farmers.
The USDA clarified that 50.4% of the nation's dairy farms have enrolled in the Dairy MPP. The percentage ranges from a low in Wyoming of 5%, to a high in Nevada of 90%. The participation level in the ten largest dairy states was 51%, almost identical to the national average:
The next MPP sign-up period will begin in six months, during an open season enrollment window for MPP coverage in calendar year 2016. That enrollment period will run from July 1 until Sept. 30, NMPF said.
For more information on the Dairy Margin Protection program authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, visit the Farm Service Agency online.