Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Joe Morrissey, 518-457-0752,
Dave Bullard, 315-487-7711 x 1377,

September 03, 2014

Commissioner Encourages Dairy Farmers to Learn More about the Federal Margin Protection Program

An Important Component of the Farm Bill, Farmers have until November 28, 2014 to Sign up

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today encouraged New York dairy farmers to learn more about the new federal Margin Protection Program (MPP) for dairy producers, which is being offered by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA).  Established by the federal Farm Bill, MPP will provide payments to farmers when the milk margin, the difference between the all-milk price and a nationally calculated feed cost, falls below a producer selected threshold. 

Sign up for MPP began on September 2, 2014, and will end on November 28, 2014.  It is critical that farmers sign up before the November 28 deadline or risk losing out on important risk management assistance.  It is equally important, however, that farmers use the nearly 90-day sign-up period to educate themselves on the new program and make a coverage decision based on the unique situation of the farm.  For many, this will mean waiting to sign-up until feed costs for the coming year are fully evaluated.  Feed is the largest cost of production for dairy farmers.

“New York is a giant among dairy producers nationally, ranking third in milk production in the entire country,” Commissioner Ball said.  “This new federal program will be a strong safety net that will provide a measure of stability for thousands of dairy farmers across New York.  It is also a risk management tool that will play an important part of any farmer’s short- and long-term plans.”

New York dairy farmers are a critical part of the national dairy industry.  New York State ranks first nationally in yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese and sour cream production and ranks third in the nation in milk production.  Initiatives such as MPP have great potential to help farmers impacted during times of low milk prices. 

During this time, Commissioner Ball encourages farmers to use the online tools and resources at local FSA offices to select the coverage level best suited to the operation. Information about MPP is available at and an online decision making tool is available at To sign up for MPP, dairy producers should call or stop in at their local FSA branch office.

2014 Press Releases