USDA Expands Safety Net for Dairy Operations

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced April 12 that dairy farms participating in the Margin Protection Program can now update their production history when an eligible family member joins the operation.

The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, protects participating dairy producers when the margin—the difference between the price of milk and feed costs—falls below levels of protection selected by each participant.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency published a final rule making the change effective April 13. Any dairy operation already enrolled in the MPP that had an intergenerational transfer occur will have an opportunity to increase the dairy operation’s production history during the 2017 registration and annual coverage election period. The next election period begins July 1 and ends Sept. 30. For intergenerational transfers occurring on or after July 1, notification must be made to the FSA within 60 days of purchasing the additional cows.

Each participating dairy operation is authorized one intergenerational transfer at any time of its choosing until 2018.

For more information, visit fsa.usda.gov/dairy or a local FSA office.

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