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Dairy Facts 2016

USDA Offers Help to Producers Squeezed by Dairy Margins

Aug 04, 2016

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that approximately $11.2 million in financial assistance will be available to American dairy producers enrolled in the 2016 Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy). The payment rate for May/June 2016 will be the largest since the program began in 2014. The narrowing margin between milk prices and the cost of feed triggered the payments, which are provided for through the 2014 Farm Bill.

"We understand the nation's dairy producers are experiencing challenges due to market conditions," said Vilsack. "By supporting a strong farm safety net, expanding credit options and growing domestic and foreign markets, USDA is committed to helping America's dairy operations remain successful."

He urged dairy producers to evaluate their enrollment options for 2017, because the enrollment period is currently scheduled to end Sept. 30, 2016.

Dairy producers who enrolled at the $6-$8 margin trigger coverage level will receive payments. MPP-Dairy payments are triggered when the national average margin (the difference between the price of milk and the cost of feed) falls below a level of coverage selected by the dairy producer, ranging from $4 to $8, for a specified consecutive two-month period. All final USDA prices for milk and feed components required to determine the national average margin for May/June 2016 were released on July 29, 2016.

The national average margin for the May/June 2016 two-month consecutive period is $5.76277 per hundredweight (cwt.). State specific payment amounts can be found at

For more information, contact Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs, at or Bob Yonkers, IDFA vice president and chief economist, at

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