Farmers and ranchers across Mississippi will soon have access to the new programs established by the 2018 Farm Bill.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue recently announced several target dates to implement farm bill programs.
By the end of April, Perdue expects USDA to issue premium refunds to dairy farmers. If milk producers participated in the former Margin Protection Program from 2014 to 2017, USDA has given them two refund options.
They can either receive 50 percent of their insurance premiums in cash or they can receive a 75 percent credit toward the newly established Dairy Margin Coverage program. American Farm Bureau Federation predicts farmers drawing more than $60 million in premium refunds.
Dairy farmers will have the opportunity to sign up for the Dairy Margin Coverage program beginning on June 17. The newly revamped program will allow small and medium sized dairy operations to purchase higher levels of insurance protection at lower premiums.
Payments for the program will begin when the difference between milk prices and feed fall below the thresholds a producer selected to insure. Perdue anticipates Dairy Margin Coverage program payments to begin on July 8.
Starting on September 1, row-crop farmers will be able enroll for either Agriculture Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage. These programs trigger payments when a producer’s average revenue or a commodity’s prices drops below numbers set by Congress.
Farmers cannot enroll in both programs and will have to decide on one for the 2020 crop year. However, farmers will not be obligated to continue participating in the same program each year, starting in 2021.
Farmers will be able to enroll in the Conservation Reserve Program on December 1. The cap on the number of acres allowed in the program will gradually increase from 24 million to 27 million by 2023.