In August and September, Cooperative Network and the University of Wisconsin–Extension will host a series of free workshops throughout Wisconsin to educate dairy producers on the newly established Margin Protection Program.
As part of the 2014 farm bill, the MPP replaces the Milk Income Loss Contract program for dairy producers. It is expected to open enrollment this fall.
The MPP is a voluntary risk management program that provides payments to producers when the margin between national milk prices and national average feed costs falls below a particular level.
Premiums are set at fixed rates explicitly written into the farm bill, and dairy producers annually self-select MPP coverage levels.
Farms of all sizes can purchase margin protection near their historical maximum levels of milk production.
At the workshops, Mark Stephenson, University of Wisconsin's director of dairy policy analysis, and Brian Gould, University of Wisconsin professor of agriculture and applied economics, will explain how the MPP works, what protection is offered, how much it will cost and how to ensure the program will have a positive impact on operations using a decision-making tool they created with a team of economists from Ohio State University, Michigan State University and the University of Minnesota.
As with MILC, the MPP will be administered through local farm service agencies. The Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy program will continue to exist, but producers are eligible to participate in only one program.
Up-to-date MPP workshop information is available at www.cooperativenetwork.coop. Questions may be directed to David Ward, Cooperative Network director of government affairs and dairy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-258-4414.