June 1 — that was USDA’s original deadline for dairy farmers to sign up for USDA’s Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) for 2018 coverage.

June 8 — USDA extended the 2018 re-enrollment deadline for MPP-Dairy.

June 22 — the re-enrollment deadline has been extended once again.

What does this all mean?

USDA clearly wants to afford dairy farmers every opportunity to sign up for 2018 coverage. That’s because margins for making milk have been challenging for U.S. dairy farmers.

“More than 21,000 American dairies have gone into our 2,200 FSA (Farm Service Agency) offices to sign up for 2018 MPP-Dairy coverage, but I am certain we can do better with this extra week and a half,” said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. By that math, about 52 percent of the nation’s 40,000 permitted dairy farms have signed up so far for the program.

How did USDA fair on its first extension?

The federal agency did get 500 new operations enrolled in the program. Yet, by giving this third extension, it still believes more dairy farms could enroll.

Payments will take place

Under normal circumstances, dairy farmers would have signed up last year for 2018 coverage. However, due to legislation passed in February, the guiding principles for MPP-Dairy were changed by congress.

With that in mind, February, March, and April margins have been calculated, and dairy farmers will receive payment from USDA’s MPP-Dairy for insuring up to the $8 per hundredweight level — that’s if you sign up for coverage.

• February margin — $6.88

• March margin — $6.77

• April margin — $6.62

USDA has already issued more than $89 million for margin triggers in February, March, and April. But, again, that money only went to operations that signed up for the program.

If you are reading this Hoard’s Dairyman Intel on its initial day of distribution, just five days remain to sign up for the MPP-Dairy at your local FSA field office.

To learn more

Read June sign-up looms for new dairy program and New MPP-Dairy program requires action.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2018
June 18, 2018
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