By Tim Kowols
Some farmers are still hesitant about buying into a government program designed to combat plunging milk prices and rising feed costs. The United States Department of Agriculture lowered its all-milk forecast to $15.60 to $16.10 per hundredweight, which is off over three dollars from a year ago. According to Farm Forum, the new Margin Protection Program hopes to calculate the difference between milk and feed costs more frequently, increase the threshold for the Tier one payment schedule, and reduce payments for some farmers in certain categories. Wallace Dairy LLC owner Paul Wallace Jr. says he is a little skeptical of the revamped program after participating in it for two years before ditching it last year due to a lack of results.
Wallace says he will try the Margin Protection Program again but at the minimum amount. He estimates milk prices need to be in the $18 to $20 range before he could make a comfortable profit. Farmers can enroll in the Margin Protection Program until June 1.