Established by the 2014 Farm Bill, the program provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer. The program replaces the Milk Income Loss Contract program and gives dairy producers the flexibility to select coverage levels best suited for their operations.
Participating farmers must remain in the program through 2018 and pay a minimum $100 administrative fee each year. Producers can select a different coverage level during open enrollment.
Dairy operations enrolling in the new program need to comply with conservation provisions and can’t participate in the Livestock Gross Margin dairy insurance program. Farmers already participating in the Livestock Gross Margin program may register for the Margin Protection Program but participation won’t start until the Livestock Gross Margin coverage has ended.
A new Web tool developed by Ohio State University and other universities can help producers determine their coverage needs based on price projections. Producers also can review historical data or estimate future coverage based on data projects.