Over 23,000 of the nation’s dairy operations, more than half of all dairy farms in the US, have enrolled in a new safety-net program created by the 2014 Farm Bill known as the Margin Protection Program, according to USDA.
The voluntary program provides financial assistance to farmers when the difference between the price of milk and feed costs falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.
“Enrollment far exceeded our expectations in the first year,” said Vilsack. “We're pleased that so many dairy producers are taking advantage of the expanded protection. USDA conducted a lot of outreach to get the word out. When you compare the initial enrollment rate for the Margin Protection Program to the longstanding federal crop insurance program, where participation ranges from 30 percent to 80 percent depending on the crop, it's clear that these outreach efforts made a difference.”