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

July 16, 2015

State Agriculture Commissioner Announces Enrollment for 2016 Dairy Margin Protection Program Underway

Federal Program Provides Financial Margin Protection to Participating Dairy Operations

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced that enrollment for the 2016 Dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) is currently underway.  Dairy farmers can now sign up for the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Margin Protection Program at their local USDA Farm Services Agency (FSA) office.  The program provides financial assistance to participating dairy operations when the margin, or the difference between the national all-milk price and national average feed cost, falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer. 

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “As a farmer, I know that the agriculture industry is faced with the challenge of unpredictable conditions—from the weather to market cycles.  Enrollment for the Margin Protection Program is now open and I encourage our dairy farmers to explore this opportunity to invest in a risk management tool that could help ease some of the economic hardship when margins fluctuate.”

Dairy operations, large and small, that produce milk commercially are eligible to participate in the program for a premium. Participating dairy producers have the flexibility to select coverage levels best suited for their operation and have the option of adjusting that level during the open enrollment period each year. Currently, 48 percent of New York’s dairy producers are enrolled in the 2015 program.

Enrollment for the 2016 program began on July 1 and ends on September 30, 2015. For more information, visit the USDA’s Farm Service Agency’s website at To find a local FSA office, visit  

In addition, the USDA has an online resource available to help dairy producers decide which level of coverage will provide them with the strongest protections under a variety of conditions. The tool, available at, allows dairy farmers to calculate their coverage needs based on price projections. Producers can also review historical data or estimate future coverage based on data projections.

“The 2014 Farm Bill works to strengthen risk management tools for all dairy farmers,” said FSA State Executive Director James Barber.  "The program allows producers to select the level of protection best suited to their business and farmers can also set up the premiums for monthly payments. Recent trends in overall milk supply and prices make it important for dairy farmers to examine all the risk management options available to them.”

“Risk management tools are an important part of agriculture today, and that includes deciding what fits into a farm’s overall plan,” said Dean Norton, New York Farm Bureau President. “With the enrollment period now open, dairy farmers should consider the options that the Margin Protection Program offers.”

The Margin Protection Program was established by the 2014 Farm Bill, which includes provisions to provide disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthen risk management tools; expand access to rural credit; fund critical research; establish innovative public-private conservation partnerships; develop new markets for rural-made products; and invest in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit

2015 Press Releases