The Margin Protection Program (MPP), established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin - the difference between the price of milk and feed costs - falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.
MPP, which replaces the Milk Income
Loss Contract program, gives participating dairy producers the flexibility to select coverage levels best suited for their operation. Enrollment began Sept. 2, and ends on Nov. 28, 2014, for 2014 and 2015. Participating farmers must remain in the program through 2018 and pay a minimum $100 administrative fee each year. Producers have the option of selecting a different coverage level during open enrollment each year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) also launched a new web tool to help producers determine the level of coverage under the Margin Protection Program that will provide them with the strongest safety net under a variety of conditions. The online resource is available here.
The 2014 Farm Bill also established the Dairy Product Donation Program. The program authorizes USDA to purchase and donate dairy products to nonprofit organizations that provide nutrition assistance to low-income families. Purchases only occur during periods of low dairy margins. Dairy operators do not need to enroll to benefit from the Dairy Product Donation Program.
To read more about the program, visit the USDA website.