Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Thursday’s Final Extension Of Enrollment Deadline For New Dairy Insurance Program Will Further Help Vermont Farmers Weigh Their Options

Vermont’s congressional delegation – Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) and Rep. Peter Welch (D) – commended U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for announcing Thursday that the application deadline for the new dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) will be extended until Dec. 19, 2014. 

In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said:  “This final extension is helpful to Vermont’s dairy farmers as well as those across the country who may still be weighing their options with the new Margin Protection Program for Dairy.  Many are looking at the latest market forecasts with dropping prices and are considering increasing their protection levels under the insurance program.  For dairy farmers who have not yet contacted their local county USDA Farm Service Agency offices, now is the time to pick up the phone make an appointment or to just drop in. This is a small but important step to ensure coverage.”

Leahy, Sanders and Welch also encourage all dairy producers to go online to use the Web tool for MPP at www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool to find the best levels of coverage for their particular dairy operations.  Farmers can simply enter their specific operation data and explore price projections and market scenarios to determine what levels of coverage is best for them.  The tool also allows them to compare data to see how the program would have helped in previous years, such as 2008, when margins dropped from $8 to $3 in just three months.  The online resource is on a secure website that can be accessed from computers, mobile phones or tablets, 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

They pointed out that farmers who do not sign up for MPP now for the 2015 calendar year will also miss out on the opportunity for a reduced premium rate for their first 4 million pounds of production for this initial year of the program’s operation.  The 25 percent reduction in the premium rates for margin levels of $4.50 to $7.50 for calendar year 2015 was a provision that Leahy was able to secure in the final days of negotiations on the 2014 Farm Bill, knowing that it would help Vermont’s dairy farmers ease into the new program.  After 2015 the premium rates for the first 4 million pounds enrolled in the program will rise by 25 percent to their statutory level, where they will remain for the life of the Farm Bill.

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David Carle (Leahy): 202-224-3693

Michael Briggs (Sanders): 202-228-6492

Ryan Nickel (Welch): 202-225-4115


Press Contact

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David Carle: 202-224-3693