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Courtney: Connecticut Dairy Farms Benefitting from New Program

February 6, 2015
Press Release
NORWICH, CT—Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2) and Bryan Hurlburt, State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency, visited Bahler Farms in Ellington to highlight the high enrollment rate in the new Dairy Margin Protection Program among dairy farms in Connecticut. 
 
“The new Dairy Margin Protection Program—which I supported during the crafting of the 2014 Farm Bill—provides flexible insurance coverage for our region’s dairy farms when prices dip,” Courtney said. “Thanks to a robust enrollment effort by the Farm Service Agency, 70 percent of Connecticut dairy farms have enrolled in the coverage, which costs as little as $100 per year for the most basic level of protection. I am pleased to see that Connecticut dairy farmers are taking advantage of this new option, and taking action to protect their operations from the possibility of future downturns.”
 
The Dairy Margin Protection Program, which Congressman Courtney advocated for as a member of the House Agriculture Committee and as co-chair of the Dairy Caucus, which reorganized after the 2009 milk price collapse and led the charge for reform, is a new program established in the 2014 Farm Bill to provide affordable insurance to small dairy farms. Connecticut dairy farms have signed up at a rate much higher than the national average of 50 percent.  Statewide, 70 percent of dairy farms enrolled in this program. 
 
The Dairy Margin Protection Program differs from the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program it replaced in that payments to farmers are based on the margin between feed prices and milk prices. In contrast, the MILC program made payments when the overall domestic price of milk fell below $16.94 per hundredweight. The most basic level of coverage only costs farmers a $100 administrative fee annually, and has a coverage level that pays off when the margin between milk prices and feed costs dips below $4 per hundredweight.
 
By allowing producers to purchase additional coverage—up to $8 in margin, in 50 cent increments—MPP allows producers to choose the right level of protection for their individual farm. USDA expects the price to stay above $6 per hundredweight this year. Nationwide, 55 percent of farms enrolled opted for a higher level of coverage. In Connecticut, 81 percent of enrolled dairy farms purchased a plan with a higher premium—the highest percentage in the country.
NORWICH, CT—Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2) and Bryan Hurlburt, State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency, visited Bahler Farms in Ellington to highlight the high enrollment rate in the new Dairy Margin Protection Program among dairy farms in Connecticut. 
 
“The new Dairy Margin Protection Program—which I supported during the crafting of the 2014 Farm Bill—provides flexible insurance coverage for our region’s dairy farms when prices dip,” Courtney said. “Thanks to a robust enrollment effort by the Farm Service Agency, 70 percent of Connecticut dairy farms have enrolled in the coverage, which costs as little as $100 per year for the most basic level of protection. I am pleased to see that Connecticut dairy farmers are taking advantage of this new option, and taking action to protect their operations from the possibility of future downturns.”
 
The Dairy Margin Protection Program, which Congressman Courtney advocated for as a member of the House Agriculture Committee and as co-chair of the Dairy Caucus, which reorganized after the 2009 milk price collapse and led the charge for reform, is a new program established in the 2014 Farm Bill to provide affordable insurance to small dairy farms. Connecticut dairy farms have signed up at a rate much higher than the national average of 50 percent.  Statewide, 70 percent of dairy farms enrolled in this program. 
 
The Dairy Margin Protection Program differs from the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program it replaced in that payments to farmers are based on the margin between feed prices and milk prices. In contrast, the MILC program made payments when the overall domestic price of milk fell below $16.94 per hundredweight. The most basic level of coverage only costs farmers a $100 administrative fee annually, and has a coverage level that pays off when the margin between milk prices and feed costs dips below $4 per hundredweight.
 
By allowing producers to purchase additional coverage—up to $8 in margin, in 50 cent increments—MPP allows producers to choose the right level of protection for their individual farm. USDA expects the price to stay above $6 per hundredweight this year. Nationwide, 55 percent of farms enrolled opted for a higher level of coverage. In Connecticut, 81 percent of enrolled dairy farms purchased a plan with a higher premium—the highest percentage in the country.
NORWICH, CT—Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2) and Bryan Hurlburt, State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency, visited Bahler Farms in Ellington to highlight the high enrollment rate in the new Dairy Margin Protection Program among dairy farms in Connecticut. 
 
“The new Dairy Margin Protection Program—which I supported during the crafting of the 2014 Farm Bill—provides flexible insurance coverage for our region’s dairy farms when prices dip,” Courtney said. “Thanks to a robust enrollment effort by the Farm Service Agency, 70 percent of Connecticut dairy farms have enrolled in the coverage, which costs as little as $100 per year for the most basic level of protection. I am pleased to see that Connecticut dairy farmers are taking advantage of this new option, and taking action to protect their operations from the possibility of future downturns.”
 
The Dairy Margin Protection Program, which Congressman Courtney advocated for as a member of the House Agriculture Committee and as co-chair of the Dairy Caucus, which reorganized after the 2009 milk price collapse and led the charge for reform, is a new program established in the 2014 Farm Bill to provide affordable insurance to small dairy farms. Connecticut dairy farms have signed up at a rate much higher than the national average of 50 percent.  Statewide, 70 percent of dairy farms enrolled in this program. 
 
The Dairy Margin Protection Program differs from the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program it replaced in that payments to farmers are based on the margin between feed prices and milk prices. In contrast, the MILC program made payments when the overall domestic price of milk fell below $16.94 per hundredweight. The most basic level of coverage only costs farmers a $100 administrative fee annually, and has a coverage level that pays off when the margin between milk prices and feed costs dips below $4 per hundredweight.
 
By allowing producers to purchase additional coverage—up to $8 in margin, in 50 cent increments—MPP allows producers to choose the right level of protection for their individual farm. USDA expects the price to stay above $6 per hundredweight this year. Nationwide, 55 percent of farms enrolled opted for a higher level of coverage. In Connecticut, 81 percent of enrolled dairy farms purchased a plan with a higher premium—the highest percentage in the country.
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