The National Milk Producers Federation said Monday it has updated its online tools for dairy farmers considering their enrollment options in the second year of the federal Dairy Margin Protection Program.
A three-month sign-up period for the program opened July 1, and the deadline to enroll is Sept. 30 for coverage in calendar year 2016. Producers currently covered by MPP in 2015 can elect now to make coverage changes in 2016, NMPF said.
These enrollment resources are available on the NMPF's DMPP website:
• A six-page brochure explaining the program
• A PowerPoint slide deck explaining the program in more detail;
• Four pages of Frequently Asked Questions;
• An Excel spreadsheet with milk and feed prices, and margins, dating back to 2007;
An interactive calculator allowing farmers to estimate future margins based on their forecasts of feed and milk prices.
The Margin Protection Program was designed to insure against the kind of catastrophic losses that many dairy farmers experienced in 2009 and again in 2012.
MPP allows farmers to protect against the difference between milk prices and feed costs. Dairy farmers insure their farms on a sliding scale, deciding both how much of their production to cover, and the level of margin to protect.
According to USDA, more than half of the nation's 45,000 dairy producers enrolled in the Margin Protection Program during the inaugural sign-up period last fall. USDA also reported that approximately 80% of the nation's milk supply enrolled in the program.
Of the farms in the program, approximately 55% elected to pay a premium for coverage above the basic, $4 per hundredweight coverage level.
NMPF supports the program. "The Margin Protection Program is more flexible, more comprehensive and more equitable than any previous federal dairy safety net," said Jim Mulhern, NMPF's president and CEO.
"It is risk management for the 21st century, and we strongly encourage farmers to choose a coverage plan that fits their circumstances. The updated materials available on our websites can help them do that."