Farmers encouraged to sign up for Dairy Margin Protection Plan


GREENVILLE – The Dairy Margin Protection Plan has since been revised and Sam Custer, the extension educator for Agriculture and Natural Resources in Darke County, said Thursday at the agricultural breakfast meeting it is a good idea for dairy operators to revisit and consider signing up.

According to the Farm Service Agency website, the program protects dairy operators when the all milk price drops under the feed price, determined by the operators themselves. The updated program gives dairy farmers lower premiums so they can afford better coverage. It best suites smaller scaling dairy operations with an increase in coverage for Tier 1 operators going up from 4 million to 5 million.

“Everybody in Darke County is eligible, most in Mercer,” Custer said.

The otherwise necessary $100 fee to sign up can be waived in most cases. He said it gives the opportunity for dairy farms to have their indemnity payments for February and some of March paid for.

Dairy operators need to sign up by June 1 at their local FSA office. Custer said participates did not have to be signed up for the program before, and it is instant money.

In other business:

Despite the rain, farmers have been very productive last week. Custer said a lot of corn and beans were planted Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. However, he said it was hard to say where they were at currently.

“It’s really hard to get a perspective of where we are on planting because you go into certain areas and we’ve got guys in Darke County that are done with corn and some that haven’t started yet,” he said.

Despite previous reports from the National Weather Service, weather conditions in May might not be as wet and cold as previously stated. The National Weather Service just changed its prediction, saying it might turn out to be more on the average side for the month of May.

While Darke County may need an update to its broadband service, it is unlikely the county will see it anytime soon. The expense for the fibers needed is too high and to add a technology adequate will only last for five years before the system is outdated again.

“Darke County is in need of better broadband as much as anyone,” Darke Rural Electric Cooperative General Manager Ted Holsapple said.

He said unless government funding is provided, it will be too expensive to change out the current technology. Holsapple also said they are in need of another lineman and invites applications for the job. Just make sure you can climb a pole, he said.

By Mary Jones

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