USDA Issues Another $100 Million in MPP Payments, Extends Enrollment

USDA has paid more than $192 million in MPP payments year to date. ( Farm Journal )

While issuing another $100 million in back-payments for the Margin Protection Program, the USDA extended the MPP enrollment deadline to ensure dairy farmers have every opportunity to join if they want to.

On Wednesday, USDA undersecretary Bill Northey’s office told Farm Journal’s MILK another $100 million in payments have been issued to producers and that they should be seeing them very soon. That brings the total payout for the first half of 2018 to more than $192 million.

There has been some confusion at the local FSA level as to whether or not producers who requested to have their administrative fee waved would be receiving payments during the same time as the rest of those farmers enrolled. According to USDA, those producer payments are in the same pool as the others and the agency is working to get the funds to producers as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a second extension of the enrollment deadline for the program saying he wants to give producers every opportunity to take advantage of the “new and improved” program.

“Last week we re-opened enrollment to offer producers preoccupied with field work an additional opportunity to come into their local office to sign-up. We did get more than 500 new operations enrolled but want to continue to provide an opportunity for folks to participate before the next margin is announced,” said Secretary Perdue. “More than 21,000 American dairies have gone into our 2,200 FSA offices to sign-up for 2018 MPP coverage but I am certain we can do better with this extra week and a half.”

According to USDA, the deadline is being extended a second time to ensure that dairy producers are given every opportunity to make a calculated decision and enroll in the program if they choose. Because the May 2018 margin will be published on June 28, 2018, all coverage elections on form CCC-782 and the $100 administrative fee, unless exempt, must be submitted to the County FSA Office no later than June 22, 2018.