Dairy MPP Sign Up Deadline Extended to June 8

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue extended the deadline for producers to sign up for the Farm Service Agency’s Margin Protection Program – Dairy (MPP) — a safety net for dairy producers — from June 1, 2018, to Friday, June 8, 2018.

“We are extending signups to give everyone an opportunity to still sign up until close of business Friday. We would encourage any producers that did not sign up, to go ahead and do that,” he says.

Dairy operations must make new coverage elections for 2018, even if the operation was enrolled during the previous 2018 signup period. Coverage elections made for this year will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018.

“We had over 500 producers that signed registers, so they’re not actually in the system. We would encourage anyone to give the office a call this week and make sure to get signed up or get on a register if you don’t have time to sign up this week,” the Under Secretary urges.

Checks were sent out June 5, to those who had signed up by Wednesday, May 30. “That’s about $90 million dollars worth of checks, with more checks to come as we have more producers that were able to finalize getting in the system.”

Covered production is increased to 5 million pounds on the Tier 1 premium schedule, and premium rates for Tier 1 are substantially lowered.

“We have an awful lot of producers, about 90 percent, that signed up at the higher level of coverage, at the $8 margin levels. Because producers are able to look back and see what the margins were, especially February, March and April, in many cases that was a good situation for producers and therefore they have high coverage, not only for those months but coverage for the balance of this year as well,” says Northey, who adds one payment will be administered for the three months.

Of the 20,000 sign-ups, 56 percent of production is covered at various levels and 122 million pounds of milk, adds Northey.

“These checks can be very helpful but we don’t want to pretend that this makes producers whole — this doesn’t make up for the losses — they still have tough decisions but it sure is a help and we appreciate congress offering producers some help in this very challenging time.

“We would encourage anyone to make sure they get the signup done by Friday and/or get on a register to finish their application.”

For more information go to USDA MPP.

Source: Shelley Huguley, Southwest Farm Press

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