Dairy Provisions Highlight Farm Bill Educational Program

August 29, 2014 12:14 AM

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will conduct an educational program on the 2014 farm bill’s dairy provisions from 9-11:30 a.m. Sept 12 in the Bailey County Electric Cooperative conference room in Muleshoe, Texas.

The cooperative’s address is 604 E. American Blvd., which is at the intersection of U.S. Highway 84 and 6th St.

The meeting is free and open to the public.

Dr. Jackie Smith, AgriLife Extension economist at Lubbock and a meeting coordinator, said the program’s main speakers will be Joe Outlaw, co-director of The Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University, College Station, and Scott Brown from the University of Missouri.

"Outlaw and Brown were both utilized by the Agricultural Committees of Congress to analyze dairy policy changes considered in the 2014 farm bill and will be able to bring an inside perspective to the new dairy policy changes," Smith said.

Smith said Outlaw will discuss the dairy provisions in the farm bill, and Brown will provide information and a tool he developed to help dairy producers understand the details and make decisions about the choices to be made.

"The current legislation eliminated some components of the dairy provisions and added the Dairy Margin Protection Program," Smith said. "So we’ve asked Drs. Outlaw and Brown to briefly present an overview of all the dairy provisions, but then to concentrate mainly on the Margin Protection Program. The Margin Protection Program is a new and unique safety net program meant to provide dairy producers with indemnity payments when a composite U.S. dairy margin falls below the margin coverage levels the producer chooses on an annual basis."

While this program is not meant to guarantee a profit, Smith said producers will be able to buy margin protection designed to protect farm equity by guarding against destructively low margins.

Dairy producers will be able to sign up for the Margin Protection Program in coming weeks, Smith said. To inform and prepare producers for the coming sign up, Smith said Brown will also explain the TOPMargin Spreadsheet Analysis Tool now available on the Policy Center website https://afpc.tamu.edu/models/. Brown developed the tool to help producers work through the decision-making process associated with the Margin Protection Program.

For more information, contact Smith at 806-746-6101, j-smith34@tamu.edu or Steve Amosson, AgriLife Extension economist at Amarillo at 806-677-5600, s-amosson@tamu.edu .

Source: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

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