The following statement may be attributed to Zippy Duvall, president, American Farm Bureau Federation:
“The American Farm Bureau Federation is pleased by today’s announcement by the Agriculture Department to allow dairy farmers to exit the Margin Protection Program for dairy producers. Dairy farmers need access to effective risk management tools. Farm Bureau and our grassroots members look forward to working with USDA and Congress to enhance the dairy safety net.
“The 2014 farm bill introduced the MPP. The program was intended to offer protection against declines in the national average income-over-feed-cost margin -- the difference between the milk price and the cost of feed on a dairy. However, dairy farmers participating in the program were required to pay a $100 administrative fee each year for the basic coverage option and once enrolled were required to remain in the program for the five-year life of the farm bill.
“Approximately 24,000 dairy farms, representing 80 percent of the U.S. milk supply, are currently enrolled in the program, however, this year only 2 percent of the milk enrolled participated at levels above the basic coverage option. The low participation rate is due to the poor performance of MPP in providing a viable safety net to dairy farmers.”