Federal Agriculture Resources

FEDERAL TOPICS

Below are various topics that we are committed to monitoring on your behalf. With the federal Farm Bill set for release in the near future, and critical legislation being proposed in congress, check this page often for the most current information on a number of topics impacting your farm and community.

FEDERAL RESOURCES

WPT is authorized to represent our members' interests to the State of Wisconsin government and elected officials. Our license does not authorize our organization to lobby the federal government or elected officials in Washington, D.C. To find the most up-to-date resources and programs available from the USDA, please contact your local FSA office.

 

MPP CHANGES

The budget bill signed in February 2018 by President Trump included some much-welcomed changes to the Margin Protection Program (MPP). Below is a list of the changes, including a table that shows the new rates and coverage levels for the margin protection program. To read more about the MPP, click here.

THE BILL SIGNED INTO LAW BY PRESIDENT TRUMP MADE THE FOLLOWING CHANGES:

- Directed the Secretary of Agriculture to immediately re-open the sign-up period for calendar year 2018 for the Margin Protection Program

- Immediately moves the MPP calculations and payments to a monthly basis

- Immediately cuts the premium costs for Tier I enrollment by 70 percent

- Raises the Tier I threshold level to the first five million pounds

- Waives the $100 administrative fee for enrollment for beginning farmers, veterans, and underserved farmers

- Repeals the statutory cap for the USDA's underwriting costs for livestock insurance products, including the Livestock Gross Margin-Dairy program

- Makes the MPP calculations more responsive to drops in prices and increases in feed costs

DAIRY REVENUE PROTECTION (RP)

 

Dairy Revenue Protection (Dairy-RP) is designed to insure against unexpected declines in the quarterly revenue from milk sales relative to a guaranteed coverage level. The expected revenue is based on futures prices for milk and dairy commodities and the amount of covered milk production elected by the dairy producer. The covered milk production is indexed to the state or region where the dairy producer is located.

PRICING OPTIONS

Dairy-RP offers two revenue pricing options:

- The Class Pricing Option uses a combination of Class III and Class IV milk prices as a basis for determining coverage and indemnities.

- The Component Pricing Option uses the component milk prices for butterfat, protein and other solids as a basis for determining coverage and indemnities. Under this option you may select the butterfat test percentage and protein test percentage to establish your insured milk price.

BILLS IN CONGRESS

 

Dairy Pride Act of 2017 (S.130) (THIS LEGISLATION WAS SIGNED INTO LAW AS PART OF THE CONGRESSIONAL SPENDING BILL IN MARCH)

Authored by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin

 

This law protects the integrity of dairy products by enforcing existing labeling requirements. The law now requires that non-dairy products made from nuts, seeds, plants, and algae no longer be labeled or market their products with dairy terms such as milk, yogurt, or cheese.

 

 

Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (OFF) Act of 2017 (H.R. 1753)

Authored by U.S. Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah

U.S. Senator Cory Booker, D-New Jersey

 

This bill establishes restrictions and requirements for checkoff programs, and prohibits boards established to carry out a checkoff program from entering into a contract or agreement that engages in activities to influence any government policy or action that relates to agriculture.

 

A board or its employees may not engage in conflicts of interest, anticompetitive activity, unfair or deceptive practices, or any act that may negatively portray another agriculture commodity or product.

 

The bill also requires transparency through publication of checkoff program budgets and expenditures, and requires audits of each program every five years, ensuring activities are in compliance with the law.

 

 

Voluntary Checkoff Act of 2017 (S.740)

Authored by U.S. Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah

 

This bill prohibits mandatory or compulsory checkoff programs and requires producer participations in the programs to be voluntary at the point of sale.

 

 

Assisting Family Farmers/Insurance Reform Measures (AFFIRM) Act of 2017

(H.R. 2332)

Authored by U.S. Representative Ron Kind, D-Wisconsin

U.S. Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin

 

This bill amends the Federal Crop Insurance Act to require the USDA to reduce federal crop insurance payments and disclose details regarding subsidies.

 

The bill also establishes an annual cap on total reimbursements for administrative and operating costs of crop insurance providers, and the average rate of return for insurance providers is limited to 8.9% of retained premiums.

Dairy Premium Refund Act of 2018 (S. 2426)

Authored by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York

 

This bill would return all premiums to farmers, who would automatically receive a check in the mail at the end of the production year for any insurance premium funds not used to pay claims to them during the previous year.

Dairy Farm Sustainability Act of 2018 (S. 2555)

Authored by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York

 

This bill establishes a milk price floor of $23.34, which is the current average cost of production.

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