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Sign Up for 2016 Dairy Program Now

The enrollment period ends Sept. 30.

The summer of 2015 is the first summer that dairy producers have an opportunity to sign up for margin protection or adjust their level of margin protection under the Dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP-Dairy).

”This summer’s sign-up actually is the second round for the MPP-Dairy program, which was introduced last fall,” North Dakota State University Extension Service dairy specialist J.W. Schroeder says. “Do not let busy schedules preclude you from analyzing whether you should sign up or select a different level of protection.”

From now on, the sign-up period will be from July 1 to Sept. 30. Nearly half of the dairy farms in the U.S. enrolled in 2015, which means they only need to select their level of protection this year.

“For those who did not enroll but wish to reconsider, now is the time to visit your Farm Service Agency office,” Schroeder says. “You already should have received an announcement about the sign-up.”

Producers have the option of selecting a different MPP-Dairy coverage level during open enrollment each year.

“I’m not surprised that the most popular level of coverage has been the $4 catastrophic level of protection,” Schroeder says. “However, so far in 2015, only dairy farmers ‘buying up’ coverage at the $8 per hundredweight level have received any indemnity payments, partially offsetting premium costs.”

In addition to margin levels selected, MPP-Dairy payments are based on a dairy operation’s historical production. An operation’s historical production will increase by 2.61 percent in 2016 if the operation participated in MPP-Dairy in 2015.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has an online resource to help dairy producers decide which level of coverage will provide them with the strongest safety net under a variety of conditions.

The enhanced Web tool, available at, allows dairy farmers to combine their unique operation data and other key variables quickly to calculate their coverage needs based on price projections. Producers also can review historical data or estimate future coverage based on data projections.

The secure site can be accessed via computer, mobile phone or tablet 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“This program is intended to help dairy producers through times of unexpected margin decline,” Schroeder says. “There are several factors that are affecting milk price projections. You still have time to sign up, so don’t forget to consider this risk management tool.”

Producers must submit form CCC-782 for 2016, confirming their Margin Protection Program coverage level selection, to the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. If buying coverage above the $4 per hundredweight catastrophic level for 2016, dairy producers can pay the premium in full at the time of enrollment or a minimum of 25 percent of the premium by Feb. 1, 2016.

For more information, visit the FSA online at or stop by a local FSA office.

NDSU Agriculture Communication - July 21, 2015

Source:J.W. Schroeder, (701) 231-7663,
Editor:Ellen Crawford, (701) 231-5391,
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