MPP Deadline Extesnsion

USDA extends MPP-Dairy enrollment deadline

By Dave NatzkeSeptember 22, 2015 | 11:40 am EDT


USDA extended the deadline to enroll in the 2016 Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) until Nov. 20. And, farmers who already enrolled for 2016 margin coverage may change coverage levels up until the new deadline, according to the National Milk Producer Federation (NMPF).

Read also: NMPF cheers Dairy Margin Protection Program extension

MPP-Dairy, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, allows dairy farmers to purchase income insurance on margins – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs. Enrollment for 2016 was scheduled to end Sept. 30.

However, in a letter to Vilsack on Sept. 15, NMPF had asked for the two-month extension, citing the busy fall harvest season.

“The fall harvest is a busy time of the year for agriculture, so this extension will ensure that dairy producers have more time to make their choices,” said Vilsack. “We encourage all operations to examine the protections offered by this program, because despite the very best forecasts, markets can change.”


LGM-Dairy, MPP-Dairy

Dairy farmers are reminded they may participate in only one USDA dairy margin insurance program. Dairy farmers electing coverage under the USDA Risk Management Agency’s Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy (LGM-Dairy) for any month in 2016 may not participate in MPP-Dairy during the year.

Vilsack encouraged producers to use the USDA’s Farm Agency Service (FSA) online Web resource at to calculate the best levels of coverage for their dairy operation. The secure website can be accessed via computer, smartphone or tablet.

Vilsack also reminded farmers enrolled in 2015 that they must make a coverage election for 2016 and pay the $100 administration fee.

Although any unpaid premium balances for 2015 must be paid in full by the enrollment deadline to remain eligible for higher coverage levels in 2016, premiums for 2016 are not due until Sept. 1, 2016. Also, producers can work with milk marketing companies to remit premiums on their behalf.

To enroll in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, contact your local FSA county office. To find your local FSA county office, visit

What do you think?

By Susanna Pilny


The California Environmental Agency has announced its intentions to have the active ingredient of Roundup—glyphosate—labelled as an agent “known to the state to cause cancer.” In the upcoming months, it will be added to a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, and other reproductive harm under the action of Proposition 65. Once this happens, businesses will have to provide “clear and reasonable” warnings before exposing people to Roundup (and other glyphosate products).

Glyphosate goes far beyond Roundup, of course—it’s used in more than 750 different agriculture, forestry, urban, and home products. Further, it’s being used increasingly on genetically modified crops. Ninety-percent of corn and soybean crops were engineered to be resistant to glyphosate, meaning more of the chemical can be used on fields without harming crop yields.

This is potentially problematic, because its widespread use has led to it being detected in air during spraying, in water, in food, and in the blood and urine of agricultural workers—which indicates glyphosate is absorbed and possibly metabolized by humans. Yuck!

Chemical under scrutiny

Many previous studies have given the herbicide a clean report card, but glyphosate has been under a lot of scrutiny as of late. In March, the World Health Organization published a study which lead them to classify the chemical as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The researchers mainly reviewed studies that examined the effect of glyphosate on rodents—they cited multiple studies in which glyphosate induced various types of cancers in mice and rats, as well as skin tumors in mice.

However, they examined a few human studies as well—several of which linked glyphosate to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Further, the herbicide was found to induce damage in the DNA and chromosomes of mammals and in human and animal cells in vitro (which generally is how cancers start).

Monsanto, the creator of glyphosate, quickly rebutted the findings of the WHO. “We are outraged with this assessment,” said Dr. Robb Fraley, Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer, in the Monsanto press release.

“This conclusion is inconsistent with the decades of ongoing comprehensive safety reviews by the leading regulatory authorities around the world that have concluded that all labeled uses of glyphosate are safe for human health. This result was reached by selective ‘cherry picking’ of data and is a clear example of agenda-driven bias.”

But in August, a new collaborative study out of several European universities and Guy’s Hospital in London added more evidence in favor of the WHO’s findings: When rats were administered an ultra-low dose (0.1 parts per billion) of Roundup over the course of two years, many rats experienced kidney and liver damage, and exhibited over 4,000 alterations in the genes of those organs.

For now, California is only labelling glyphosate as a carcinogen instead of restricting or banning it. Environmental groups are celebrating, however, because while it is unclear whether it is harmful to humans, it has decimated monarch butterfly populations.

As glyphosate is so widespread, it has killed an enormous amount of the butterflies’ only food source—milkweed. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, this has led to populations plummeting by 80% over the last 20 years.