MPP-Dairy Extension

USDA Extends Dairy Margin Protection Program Deadlines
Enrollment Continues Through Dec. 5; Comments Accepted Until Dec. 15
GRAPEVINE, Texas, Oct. 29, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, speaking at the National Milk Producers Federation annual meeting, today announced extended deadlines for the dairy Margin Protection Program. Farmers now have until Dec. 5, 2014, to enroll in the voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill. The program provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.
“We want dairy producers to have enough time to make thoughtful and well-studied choices,” said Vilsack. “Markets change and the Margin Protection Program can help protect dairy producers from those changes.”
Vilsack encouraged producers to use the online Web resource at to calculate the best levels of coverage for their dairy operation. “Historical scenarios also can be explored to see how the Margin Protection Program would function should poor market conditions occur again in the future,” said Vilsack. The secure website can be accessed via computer, smartphone or tablet.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) also extended the opportunity for public comments on both the Margin Protection Program and the Dairy Product Donation Program until Dec. 15, 2014.
“USDA is committed to creating strong opportunities for the next generation of farmers and ranchers. When dairy producers bring new family members into the business, these changes could affect safety net coverage,” said Vilsack. “If our current rules hinder intergenerational changes or if improvements are needed in these programs, then we want to hear from dairy producers.”
Comments can be submitted to USDA via the website at
Today’s announcement was made possible through the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit

Southern Farm Boy Gets It Done

James H. Baxter, IV

President & Manager

Baxter Farms, Inc.

Georgetown, DE

Distinguished Young Alumni Award for University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Jay graduated from UD with a B.S. Degree in Agriculture in 2002 prior to returning to the family farm.  Jays is the 4th. generation farmer at Baxter Farms.

Jay currently oversees the farms 2,800 acres in Sussex County with support from his grandparents.  The Farming operation was established from a small farm and tomato canning operation when James, Sr. moved from Baltimore in the Early 1900’s.  Today the main crops are corn and soybeans, however, Jay is constantly increasing the acreage to incorporate food grade crops, including sweet corn, lima beans, and edamame.  The farming operation also consists of a 200,000 broiler operation.

Jay has been active in many community organizations as well: Director of the Delaware Farm Bureau, Chairman of the Delaware Soybean Board, founding member of Delmarva Tractor Pullers Association, founding member of Southern Delaware’s Local on the Menu, member of Young Farmers and Ranchers, and the Delmarva Poultry Industry.


Hoard’s Dairyman Intel

Here is an article I recieved from Hoard’s Dairyman.

by Dennis Halladay, Western Editor

Don’t be surprised if the after-Thanksgiving mayhem of “Black Friday” shopping sales causes USDA to extend the sign-up deadline for the dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) provision of the recently passed farm bill by a few days.

It’s a possibility that literally occurred while Michael T. Scuse (above), USDA Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, was at the podium last week during a public forum at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. It obviously caught him by surprise, and it went something like this:

“Sign-up deadline is November 28,” he said. “Wait a minute… isn’t that the day after Thanksgiving? Uh oh, that’s Black Friday. That could be a problem for some people, especially for moms. I think we will have to discuss extending things by a few days.”

As much as he was caught by surprise by the calendar, people in the audience were caught by surprise by his reaction when recognizing that sticking to the deadline might cause difficulties for some dairy families.

During his comments, Scuse also emphasized the commitment by USDA Secretary Vilsack to total transparency of both the MPP program and its implementation.

As part of that, Scuse encouraged everyone in the dairy industry to use the 60-day comment period now underway to give feedback to USDA about the program, as well as to ask questions about unique personal situations that may exist. He mentioned in particular those related to bringing family members into the business and to intergenerational transfers.

The forum was presented by National Milk Producers Federation and included a presentation on MPP decision-making tools by Scott Brown, a leading dairy industry financial analyst at the University of Missouri and the Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute (FAPRI).

Of perhaps the greatest interest to milk producers is his forecast that although Class III milk prices will be much lower in 2015, feed costs will be even lower, resulting in a solid average milk price over feed cost margin of $10.87 per hundredweight.

Milk Protection Program


Tuesday, October 7, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
at the Kent County FSA Office

Tuesday, October 7, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
at the Sussex Co. FSA Office

MPP-Dairy is a risk management program for dairy producers authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. It offers protection when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.
FSA will explain the eligibility requirements, the registration method, how to establish production history, coverage elections and premiums.
University of Delaware Extension will explain the web based decision making tools, selecting coverage elections and premiums based on projected margins, and will provide hands on help that will enable you to input your information to develop coverage scenarios specific to your dairy operation.
For further information, or if you need special accommodations, contact:
Lynn Manges (302)678-4253 or Dan Severson (302)831-8860
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

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Philip Durst and Stanley Moore

October 6th, 12:00 PM Central Time

Durst and Moore will discuss the results of phone interviews with 158 employees from 11 dairy farms, including:

  • Employee turnover rate and employee engagement
  • Management makes a difference
  • Focus employees on achieving performance standards
  • Providing opportunities to learn and develop
  • Language and cultural barriers
Feeding Fats, in Moderation, to Dairy Cows



Dairy cows need a tremendous amount of energy; a dairy cow weighing 1400 lb and producing 70 lb/day of milk with 3.6% fat and 3.3% protein needs about 33 Mcal/day of net energy for lactation (NEL). Although the units are somewhat different, this is about 26 times more energy than for a person consuming a recommended 2000 Calorie diet. Concentrates are higher in energy density than forages, but adequate dietary effective fiber is needed to maintain rumen function, so concentrates need to be limited in the diet. Thus, one of the primary purposes of feeding supplemental fat to dairy cows is to increase energy intake. Fats are higher in energy density than carbohydrates and proteins; therefore, adding fat increases the energy density of the diet.


To read more, view the full article online.

Please contact Nancy McGill at with questions and concerns.