FSA announced that starting July 1, 2015, dairy farmers can enroll in Margin Protection Program for coverage in 2016. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating dairy operations when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.
The Margin Protection Program gives participating dairy producers the flexibility to select coverage levels best suited for their operation. Enrollment begins July 1 and ends on Sept. 30, 2015, for coverage in 2016. Participating farmers will remain in the program through 2018 and pay a $100 administrative fee each year. Producers also have the option of selecting a different coverage level during open enrollment each year. Margin Protection Program payments are based on an operation’s historical production. An operation’s historical production will increase by 2.61 percent in 2016 if the operation participated in 2015, providing a stronger safety net.
USDA also has an online resource available to help dairy producers decide which level of coverage will provide them with the strongest safety net under a variety of conditions. The enhanced Web tool, available at www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool, allows dairy farmers to quickly and easily combine their unique operation data and other key variables to calculate their coverage needs based on price projections. Producers can also review historical data or estimate future coverage based on data projections. The secure site can be accessed via computer, mobile phone, or tablet, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Dairy operations enrolling in the program must meet conservation compliance provisions. Producers participating in the Livestock Gross Margin insurance program may register for the Margin Protection Program, but this new margin program will only begin once their livestock dairy insurance coverage has ended. Producers must also submit form CCC-782 for 2016, confirming their Margin Protection Program coverage level selection, to the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. If electing higher coverage for 2016, dairy producers can either pay the premium in full at the time of enrollment or pay a minimum of 25 percent of the premium by Feb. 1, 2016.
For more information, visit FSA online at www.fsa.usda.gov/dairy for more information, or stop by a local FSA office to learn more about the Margin Protection Program. To find a local FSA office in your area, visit http://offices.usda.gov.
Please contact your local FSA Office.
Summer II Classes (July 6 – August 14, 2015)
STOCKSCH 100 – Botany for Gardeners (GenEd-BS; 4 credits)
STOCKSCH 117 – Agricultural Chemistry (3 credits)
STOCKSCH 297 V – Organic Vegetable Production (3 credits)
STOCKSCH 397 S – Sustainable Site Planning & Design (3 credits)
STOCKSCH 397 FV – Post-harvest Handling of Fruits & Vegetables (3 credits)
For details on the Online Certificate 15 credit course, please visit: https://stockbridge.cns.umass.edu/SFF-Certificate
As the “Buy Local” movement grows and the market for locally grown agricultural products expands, more and more people are stepping out of their comfort zone and trying unique products previously unfamiliar to them. Joining a CSA may mean you’ll receive fruits and vegetables and other items that you may not have used before. Exposure to a greater diversity of agricultural products is one of the great benefits of buying locally, and raw milk is certainly a part of that.
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The Beginning Farmer Network of Massachusetts is moving into some new and exciting territory this coming year, and are looking for thoughtful and motivated farmers and farm service providers to help lead the way!
What’s on the menu:
In 2015 – 2016, BFN/Mass will be focusing their efforts on conducting a comprehensive assessment of resources that are targeted at beginning farmers in Massachusetts.
Learn more here: http://www.bfnmass.org/focus-2015-2016
They are currently accepting applications for both our Leadership Team and Advisory Team!
The Leadership Team, made up 4-6 members, will play a hands-on role in making strategic decisions on BFN/Mass’s direction, organization, policies, and membership, and participating in research and organizing work. Leaders will represent each region in Massachusetts and provide diverse perspectives from various sectors.
More info and application available HERE!
The Advisory Team, made of 8-10 members, will provide guidance to BFN/Mass around important strategic decisions, and be called upon as a resource to share unique perspectives and support when needed.
More info and application available HERE!
Please send applications to BFN/Mass Coordinator, Nora Saks, email@example.com, by Friday, July 3, 2015.