The Dairy MPP program which is part of the new farm bill was formerly unveiled by US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in late August 2014. Every farm producing milk commercially is eligible to sign up for the new program or revise their coverage during the enrollment period that begins on July 1 and ends on September 30 of each year.
According to Alan Zepp, the center’s risk management program manager, dairy producers new to the program should know the answers to three questions before they walk into their local Farm Service Agency office to sign up.
- What is my production history?
- What margin level ($4.00- $8.00 in $0.50 increments) best fits my risk management plan?
- How much of my base production do I wish to cover (25%-90% in 5% increments)?
Those farms curently enrolled in MPP can choose a different margin level and / or coverage level during this summer’s signup period. Several tools are available to walk producer through all of these decisions. Those include:
- The FSA’s official tool — this is a decision making tool that walks you through forecasting your projected margins and determining what level of risk you can tolerate.
- The Dairy Markets & Policy Tool is very similar to the FSA’s official tool, with both being developed by the Program on Dairy Markets and Policy and the National Coalition for Producer Education. On this website are other tools and resources that can also aid in the decision-making process.