The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds dairy producers the deadline to sign up for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program is Sept. 20. DMC provides coverage retroactive to Jan. 1, 2019, with applicable payments following soon after enrollment. USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey says producers can choose between the $4.00 to $9.50 coverage levels.
DMC offers catastrophic coverage at no cost to the producer, other than an annual $100 administrative fee. Producers can opt for greater coverage levels for a premium in addition to the administrative fee. Operations owned by limited resource, beginning, socially disadvantaged or veteran farmers and ranchers may be eligible for a waiver on administrative fees. Producers have the choice to lock in coverage levels until 2023 and receive a 25-percent discount on their DMC premiums.
All dairy operations in the United States are eligible for the DMC program. An operation can be run either by a single producer or multiple producers who commercially produce and market cows’ milk.
The Dairy Margin Coverage program replaced the Margin Protection Program (MPP-Dairy). The farm bill allows producers who participated in MPP-Dairy from 2014-2017 to receive a repayment or credit for part of the premiums paid into the program. FSA has been providing premium reimbursements to producers since last month, and those that elect the 75 percent credit option will now have that credit applied toward 2019 DMC premiums.
The latest enrollment numbers show 68 percent of U.S. dairy operations with an established production history have enrolled so far for this year. This represents more than 18,000 producers nationwide.
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) is urging farmers to sign up for DMC. Jim Mulhern, NMPF president and CEO, says the program “offers better support for dairy farmers than its predecessor,” and is “worthwhile for every farmer.” NMPF says the new program offers a more robust safety net for dairy producers of all sizes.
For more information, contact your local USDA service center.