Dairy Farmers Received More Than a Quarter Billion Dollars in MPP Payments in 2018
The United States Department of Agriculture announced this week that U.S. dairy farmers received $253 million in dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) payments in 2018.
More than 21,400 dairy farmers received the payments, up by more than 2,000 over 2017 participation. Changes in the MPP program, enacted in February in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, likely resulted in the increased participation, says Sonny Perdue, USDA Secretary. The changes both attracted more farmers to the program and for those who were already in the program, to increase their coverage levels.
“We understand that this is not a total fix nor long-term solution for dairy producers, but we are glad that the Farm Service Agency was able to spring into action to get these critical payments out the door just a few months after the legislative changes were enacted,” says Perdue.
For those farmers opting for $7.50 or $8 milk/feed margin coverage, payments were made February through September. For those opting for $7 coverage, payments were made in February, March, April, May and July. As noted above, these payments collectively totaled $253 million.
Changes in the Bipartisan Budget act included:
- Calculating and providing monthly payments on a monthly rather than on a bi-monthly basis;
- Permitting of dairy farms that had not previously participated before to enroll;
- Increasing coverage to 5 million pounds of production (instead of 4 million) on the Tier 1 premium schedule;
- Reducing premiums under the Tier 1 premium schedule; and
- Exempting limited resource, beginning, veteran, and disadvantaged dairy operators from paying the annual $100 administrative fee.
For more information on the Dairy MPP, click here.