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November 1, 2016

From Dairy JAM: MPP Changes a Priority in New Congress

 |  By: Mike Opperman

“There’s not an issue more important than getting the Margin Protection Program (MPP) fixed,” says Randy Mooney, National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) chair. “It’s the right program for dairy farmers but it’s not working.” His comments led off the joint annual meeting between NMPF, Dairy Management Inc. and the United Dairy Industry Association.

Experts agree that the original proposal outlined by NMPF and others would have been most effective, but changes by Congress have hindered the ability of the program to work as designed. The question is how to get the right policies set with the new Congress moving forward.

To that end NMPF has developed an Economic Policy Committee to create a proposal that will take advantage of the legislative opportunities within the new Congress. The committee, made up of industry economists, will look at changes including regional issues, margin payment structures, timing of payments to producers and other issues to help make MPP a more effective risk management program.

“There is a strong desire to get MPP reform done early,” says Paul Bleiberg, senior director of government relations with NMPF. “We don’t know what the playing field is going to look like so we need to be ready for whatever changes happen.”