USDA extends MPP signup window till Friday | TheFencePost.com

USDA extends MPP signup window till Friday

-The Hagstrom Report

The Agriculture Department has extended the deadline for producers to sign up for the Farm Service Agency's Margin Protection Program through Friday.

Dairy producers must select new coverage in the MPP for 2018, even if they enrolled during the previous sign-up period last fall. Coverage choices made this spring for calendar year 2018 will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018.

Producers can participate in either MPP or the Livestock Gross Margin program for dairy (LGM-Dairy), but not both.

The National Milk Producers Federation expressed thanks to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for the decision and noted that the group and key senators had asked USDA to consider additional time for dairy producers to enroll in, or adjust their existing coverage in, the MPP for calendar year 2018.

"We believe an extension of the sign-up period beyond the June 1 deadline will be beneficial in recruiting as many farmers as possible into the program," said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF.

"In particular, the late spring planting in numerous dairy states, especially in the Midwest, means that many farmers have been in their fields in recent weeks and unable to sit down and make decisions about their risk management options available through USDA."

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NMPF also thanked Sens. Tina Smith. D-Minn., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, for spearheading a bipartisan letter making the request on May 31, and Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. and former Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., for advocating for an extension after earlier this insisting that Congress make improvements to the MPP.