The Department of Agriculture this week said more than 20,000 dairy farmers have enrolled in the Dairy Margin Protection Program, for which enrollment closes Friday. USDA undersecretary Bill Northey told Politico he expects more producers to enroll in the program compared to last year. In 2017, roughly 20,300 dairy farmers enrolled in the program, accounting for 64 percent of U.S. milk production. Congress earlier this year revised MPP retroactively for 2018, including lower premiums for higher levels of coverage.
Dairy groups had long advocated for changes to the program that “did not provide a meaningful safety net,” according to the National Milk Producers Federation at the time. Northey says USDA has already sent about $19 million in checks to producers who signed up for higher levels of coverage, and therefore would have received an MPP payment in the last few months. The enrollment deadline was originally June 1st, but was extended a week by USDA.