Dairy Margin Program Sessions Set For Southwestern Mo., Sept. 17

   Dairy farmers face a Sept. 30 sign-up deadline for the USDA Margin Protection Program (MPP).
   On Sept. 17, two meetings will review options, costs and cost-share potential in the plan, says Joe Horner, University of Missouri Extension dairy economist.
   Sessions will start at 10 a.m. at Springfield Livestock Auction, and at 1:30 p.m. at Missouri State University Fruit Experiment Station, Mountain Grove. Each session runs 1½ hours.
   “For those who signed up last year, the MPP remains the same,” Horner says. “For those who didn’t enroll, this gives a chance to gain some protection.”
   With possible milk price declines and feed price increases, the USDA plan protects from a margin squeeze, he says.
   “Producers may buy different levels of coverage. At the low level, coverage is free to those who enroll. There is a $100 annual enrollment fee for all.”
   Speakers from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) will provide MPP details.
   The USDA margin protection plan is the only federal government dairy payment. The MILC payments in the previous farm bill were dropped.
   However, the state of Missouri may offer assistance for milk producers.
   Possible financial aid in paying premiums comes from the Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act. This bill passed in the last session of the Missouri General Assembly, but was not funded. Appropriations will be taken up when the legislature convenes in January.
   David Meyer of the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority will tell of premium reimbursements and other features.
   The meetings are free. Both will be sponsored by MU Extension, USDA FSA and Missouri Department of Agriculture.
   For meeting details, contact Horner at hornerj@missouri.edu or 573-882-9339. ∆
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