Dairy producers can enroll for margin protection

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

MU Extension, USDA schedule workshops about Farm Bill program

Area dairy producers have an opportunity to sign up for the 2014 Farm Bill's Margin Protection Program through Nov. 28.

The University of Missouri Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently hosted an informational session in Monett, and a second will take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 28 at the Springfield Livestock Marketing Center, at 6821 W. Independence Drive in Springfield.

"I really hope that producers will find time to come out to one of the informational sessions," said Reagan Bluel, regional dairy specialist with the MU Extension of Barry County. "I think it will be very resourceful for them."

The Margin Protection Program actually mirrors crop insurance quite a bit, Bluel said.

"You select your level of coverage," she said. "You select the quantity of milk that you want to have covered. In the event that the milk-to-feed ratio drops, then the insurance will kick in and provide that buffer."

The insurance is there to protect the producers when the margin between the cost of feed and the value of milk is so great that milking cows is no longer profitable, Bluel said.

The goal is to orient the producers about margin protection and to teach them about a computer program that helps try to calculate what level of protection producers should accept or choose, she said.

"It is based on what they can afford to pay in coverage, but also what their level of risk is as a business person," Bluel said.

The program is pretty straight forward, and it can provide dairy producers a level of protection that they have never had before, she said.

"I think this is going to be very instrumental in the success of the dairy industry in southwest Missouri," Bluel said.

For more information about the Margin Protection Program, people may contact MU Extension Associate Joe Horner at hornerj@missouri.edu or 573-882-9339, or contact Bluel at bluelrj@missouri.edu or 417-847-3161.

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