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This Week's Other Stories:

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Time For Another Round Of Federal Order Reform

OTHER NEWS: USDA Removes Regs For Dairy Export Incentive Program From CFR; 2009 FNS Memo On Nonfat Dry Milk Processing Cancelled

OTHER NEWS: USDA Proposes Changes In Milk, Other Dairy Products In Child, Adult Care Food Program

End of Another Year
by Dan Strongin

NYC’s Newest Cheese Cave Created In 1850s Underground Lagering Tunnels
Crown Finish Caves Partners With Parish Hill Creamery’s Peter Dixon For Aging Venture


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Over Half Of US Dairy Farms Enroll In New Margin Protection Program

Almost 120 Billion Pounds Of Milk Production Enrolled; 55% Of Enrolled Producers Buy Up; Next Sign-up Starts July 1, 2015

More than 23,000 US dairy operations, or 50.4 percent of all licensed dairy operations in the US, have enrolled in the new Margin Protection Program for dairy producers (MPP-Dairy), US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced Monday.

Estimated milk production enrolled in MPP-Dairy is 119.5 billion pounds; this figure is extrapolated from 2013 production data (when US milk production totaled 201.8 billion pounds) and assumes that operations that enrolled are representative of the respective state’s milk production distribution.

MPP-Dairy is a voluntary risk management program that offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average cost of feed (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

The Margin Protection Program offers dairy producers a range of choices of protection that are best suited for their operation. Starting with basic coverage for an administrative fee of $100, producers can select higher levels of coverage at incremental premiums.

Some 55 percent of enrollees selected higher coverage beyond the basic level.
MPP-Dairy was established by the 2014 farm bill, and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a final rule that implements regulations for the program in late August. The deadline for signing up for the 2015 program was December 19, 2014.

At the state level, the percentage of dairy farmers who enrolled in MPP-Dairy at basic or buy-up levels ranged from a low of 5 percent in Wyoming (which has 20 dairy operations) to a high of 90 percent in Nevada (which also has 20 dairy operations).

The percentage of enrolled dairy farmers who selected higher coverage beyond the basic level ranged from 0 percent in Alaska, Hawaii and Wyoming to a high of 81 percent in Connecticut and New Hampshire.

Enrollment in MPP-Dairy among the top 10 milk-producing states, and the percent buy-up within those that enrolled, was as follows:

California: 69 percent enrolled, 35 percent bought up.
Wisconsin: 54 percent enrolled, 55 percent bought up.
New York: 48 percent enrolled, 57 percent bought up.
Idaho: 66 percent enrolled, 29 percent bought up.
Pennsylvania: 30 percent enrolled, 58 percent bought up.
Texas: 71 percent enrolled, 54 percent bought up.
Michigan: 53 percent enrolled, 48 percent bought up.
Minnesota: 69 percent enrolled, 73 percent bought up.
New Mexico: 64 percent enrolled, 17 percent bought up.
Washington: 64 percent enrolled, 58 percent bought up.

“Enrollment far exceeded our expectations in the first year,” Vilsack remarked. “We’re pleased that so many dairy producers are taking advantage of the expanded ..more