Monday, January 12, 2015

About 59 percent of nation's dairy farms have signed up for Farm Bill subsidy program

More than 23,000 farms—59 percent of the nation's dairy farms—have enrolled in the Dairy Margin Protection Program created through the 2014 Farm Bill "to protect producer incomes from spikes in feed costs and collapses in milk prices, the Agriculture Department says," Philip Brasher reports for Agri-Pulse, a Washington newsletter.

The program "triggers payments to producers when the difference between the price of milk and feed costs falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer," Brasher writes. "Basic coverage is available for a fee of $100. Higher levels require the payment of premiums. More than half of the enrollees opted for the higher levels of coverage, USDA said."

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said enrollment exceeded expectations, Brasher writes. Vilsack said, “When you compare the initial enrollment rate for the Margin Protection Program to the longstanding federal crop insurance program, where participation ranges from 30 percent to 80 percent depending on the crop, it's clear that these outreach efforts made a difference." Signup for 2016 coverage is from July 1 to Sept. 30. (Read more)

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