COLUMBIA, Mo. – Milk producers can hear updates on dairy law in the new farm bill—and a milk price outlook, Monday, March 10.

Joe Horner, University of Missouri Extension economist, brings a program for North Central Missouri Dairy Day. The program starts at 9:30 a.m. at Barton Campus of North Central Missouri College in Trenton.

The farm bill gives a new dairy safety net called the Margin Protection Program for Dairy Producers, Horner says. When rising feed costs meet falling milk prices, profit margins shrink.

Also new is a Livestock Forage Disaster Program. This covers drought losses in 2012. Sign-up begins April 15.

Going away will be federal payments when milk prices drop, but producers can protect margins with insurance. “While the insurance is based on national milk and feed prices, dairy producers should learn their costs. A milk price outlook will help,” Horner says. “Costs and returns will determine how much margin should be insured.”

Ryan Milhollin, MU Extension economist, will tell how to use pasture and forage insurance for drought protection. Later he will tell what was learned in the 2012 drought on small-scale forage irrigation.

The program and lunch are free. However, registration is needed for the lunch. Call Hannah McClure in Horner’s office at 573-884-6311.

There will be more than farm policy, Horner says. Take-home help on cow care and their forages are included.

“We recognize forages are important to dairy farms in the Green Hills,” Horner says.

Stacey Hamilton, MU Extension dairy specialist, will tell of innovations and research in grazing at the MU Southwest Center, Mount Vernon. He will speak by webinar.

He’s followed by Rob Kallenbach, MU Extension forage specialist, on “Growing and Harvesting Quality Alfalfa.”

Joe Zulovich, MU Extension engineer, tells about “Cow Comfort and Cooling.”

The program ends by 2:30 p.m. “We keep dairy programs short so milkers don’t miss morning and evening chores,” Horner says.

The program follows a week of Dairy Profit Seminars across southern Missouri. “We had record attendance,” Horner says. “Producers want to hear about margin insurance and price outlook.”

The dairy outlook? “Record profit potential,” he adds.

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