Wednesday, September 3, 2014


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Dairy risk management program accepting signups

WASHINGTON - A New dairy risk management program -- or dairy margin protection program -- that was enacted as part of the recently-passed Farm Bill is open for signups.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture to implement this program, which replaces and improves the USDA’s previous Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program by allowing dairy farmers to recoup some of the cost of low milk prices and high costs of production. In recent years, volatile milk prices, in combination with the high costs of feed for cows, negatively impacted many Upstate New York dairy farmers. Schumer explained that the MILC program did not adequately assist farmers when the cost of milk plummeted and the old program did not sufficiently compensate farmers for the high cost of feed. The new program, however, will more accurately factor in the price of feed and its impact on farmers profit margins. Schumer announced that this program will begin today and he is encouraging farmers across Upstate New York to sign up to protect themselves from sudden market changes in milk prices and feed costs. Schumer voted for the 2014 Farm Bill that authorized this new margin protection program for dairy farmers.

“The dairy industry is absolutely vital to Upstate New York's economy and the new Farm Bill is helping dairy farmers across the state access affordable insurance policies,” said Schumer.  “This new dairy risk management program will be an improvement over the previous system, which did not adequately will protect farmers from volatile milk prices and feed costs.  This new risk management program is one of the main reasons I pushed my colleagues in Congress to pass the Farm Bill, and I urge dairy farmers across the state to sign up.”

The Margin Protection Program, which replaces the Milk Income Loss Contract program, gives participating dairy producers the flexibility to select coverage levels best suited for their operation. Enrollment begins Sept. 2 and ends on Nov. 28, 2014, for 2014 and 2015. Producers have the option of selecting a different coverage level during open enrollment each year.

Schumer also urged the USDA to provide web tools to help dairy farmers navigate the new dairy insurance program, and the USDA has provided an online resource at to the USDA, this site allows dairy farmers to quickly and easily combine 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.

Overall, the dairy industry is New York's leading Agricultural sector, generating over $2.5 billion in revenue each year. New York produced more dairy than any other state besides California and Wisconsin.