Arizona FSA Urges Dairy Farmers To Apply For Updated Subsidy Program

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Monday, May 28, 2018 - 9:43am
Lauren Gilger/KJZZ
Dairy cows sit under fans in Laveen, Arizona.

The local Farm Service Agency is urging Arizona milk producers to sign up for an insurance program extended by Congress this year before the June 1 deadline.

The Margin Protection Program, from the 2014 Farm Bill, was supposed to end this year, but was revised and re-approved in the Budget Act. One change is that the MPP now pays out every month instead of every two months.

Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working to inform new or smaller dairy farms that haven’t used the program before.

Essentially, it’s another subsidy to help dairy producers stay profitable amid low milk prices and high feed costs.

FSA program specialist Pamela Solem in Arizona said the new dairy coverage helps smaller farms that make several million gallons of milk a month instead of tens of millions.

“The option to capture more, better coverage for the operations with lower amounts of production, so like 5 million or below, those [are] operators that we’re really trying to reach out to,” she said.

Solem said she hopes to educate new dairy farmers who might not know they’re eligible for this coverage.

”It’s similar to an insurance program for these folks," Solem said. "If their costs exceed what the market pays out based on their production, then the government would give them a subsidy.”

There are just about 100 dairy farms in Arizona, and Solem says not all have signed up for the program. 

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