Dairy margin protection program information and opportunities

Want to learn how the new farm bill affected the dairy industry? There are now opportunities coming to a city near you.

This past winter, the U.S. Congress passed a Farm Bill that establishes farm policy through 2018. Dairy farmers are particularly interested in the Farm Bill because it changes the way that the government helps producers manage the risk of price changes in both milk and feed.

At the time the Farm Bill was signed, only the broad framework of the new Dairy Margin Protection Program was specified. Implementation required writing the rules and determining the specifics of program operation. Those rules are now written and dairy farmers need to learn how the program will impact their individual farms. This fall dairy farmers will have to make choices about participation and the level of participation.

Previous programs that support farm milk price including the MILC and price support programs are being discontinued. Therefore, it is important that dairy farmers understand this new program to reduce risk. Michigan State University Extension is conducting 11 meetings across the state to help dairy producers clearly evaluate the impact of the new Dairy Margin Protection Program on their operation.

Christopher Wolf, MSU dairy economist, along with Extension dairy educators and farm management educators are teaching these two-hour workshops. FSA personnel will also be present at the meetings to help answer questions.

At the meetings, dairy producers will hear information on what the Dairy Margin Protection Program is and how it will work, see a demonstration of the online Dairy Decision Tool Software, and learn about the potential impacts on farm profitability.

With recognition of the harvest season, all meetings are scheduled for two hours. Michigan State University Extension dairy and farm management educators encourage dairy farmers to attend this important program.

All meetings are free but pre-registration is requested. Below is a list of the locations (details on the web) at which meetings will be offered and producers may register online:

September 3 – West Branch, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

September 3 – Cadillac, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

September 5 – Rudyard, 10 a.m. – Noon

September 8 – Hillsdale, 10 a.m. – Noon

September 10 – Sandusky, 10 a.m. – Noon

September 10 – Bad Axe, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

September 12 – Allegan, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

September 12 – West Olive, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

September 15 – Fremont, 10 a.m. – Noon

September 17 – St. Johns, 10 a.m. – Noon

September 19 – Stephenson, 10 a.m. – Noon (CDT)

Dairy producers who do not have internet access may call 231-533-8818 to register.

This project is supported by USDA-NIFA under Award Number 2012-49200-20032

Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by calling 231-533-8818 one week prior to the event to ensure sufficient time to make arrangements.