Thompson Encouraged by Swift USDA Action on Margin Protection Program Changes for Dairy Farming

April 5, 2018
Press Release
Enrollment for improved program opens April 9

BELLEFONTE, Pa.U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson today applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its announcement to reopen enrollment for an improved safety net program for dairy farmers.

The new and improved Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) will provide better protections for dairy producers from shifting milk and feed prices. Thanks to changes authorized in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, USDA was able to make program improvements and has reopened enrollment. The enrollment period will run April 9, 2018 to June 1, 2018.

Rep. Thompson
encourages dairy farmers to evaluate their participation in this new and improved program.

“My thanks to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue for quickly implementing the changes to the Margin Protection Program for dairy farmers,” Rep. Thompson said. “I supported the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which contained important changes to MPP for dairy farmers – many of whom are experiencing additional financial hardship after losing contracts. These very reforms came from feedback we received from dairy farmers, and it is my hope that this will revamp this important program during an uncertain time in the industry.”  


The program protects participating dairy producers by compensating them when the difference between the national all-milk price and the national average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount elected by the producer.

Changes include:

  • Calculations of the margin period is monthly rather than bi-monthly.
  • Raised the catastrophic coverage level from $4.00 per hundred weight (cwt) to $5.00.
  • Covered production is increased to 5 million pounds on the Tier 1 premium schedule, and premium rates for Tier 1 are substantially lowered.
  • An exemption from paying an administrative fee for limited resource, beginning, veteran, and disadvantaged producers. Dairy operators enrolled in the previous 2018 enrollment period that qualify for this exemption under the new provisions may request a refund.
  • Expanded livestock assistance to allow for the development of insurance policies for livestock producers, including dairy farmers.

Dairy farmers can enroll by contacting their local USDA service center. A full list of centers (search by county) can be found here