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Rick Worthington Dairy Margin Protection Enrollment
by Rick Worthington, click here for bio

Program: Farm and Ranch Report
Date: May 28, 2018

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The United States Department of Agriculture is reminding dairy farmers they must again sign-up for 2018 Dairy Margin Protection Program, even if they signed up for the program last fall.

Changes to the Margin Protection Program for dairy will ease costs of the program for dairy farmers, but the National Milk Producers Federation says a dairy supply management program is not likely in the near future.

Jim Mulhern with the National Milk Producers Federation says Washington, D.C. is not supportive of any such program.

“If you own dairy cattle and operate a dairy, you must register in order to participate. All 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 2018 will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018.”

By signing up, dairy farmers will qualify for a $1.22/cwt indemnity payment in February and a $1.23/cwt payment in March if they sign-up for $8 margin protection. For Tier 1 farmers (those with less than 5 million lb of annual production history), the premium for $8 coverage is 14.2¢/cwt.

Current futures markets also project indemnity payments are likely at least through June at the $8 coverage level.

USDA also notes that the margin calculation is now done on a monthly basis, rather than bi-monthly. This makes payments more likely.

The agency also notes: “All dairy operations must sign up during the enrollment period and submit form CCC-782 (PDF, 3.49 MB) to enroll. Dairy operations may "opt out" by not submitting a form.”

Meanwhile, the enrollment period for the new Margin Protection Program, updated by Congress earlier this year, ends in June first.

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