Dairy Margin Coverage enrollment begins

Signup begins today, Dec. 13, for the Dairy Margin Coverage program, a safety net program designed to provide $580 million to better help small- and mid-sized dairy operations that have increased production over the years but were not able to enroll the additional production.

Enrollment will end on Feb.18, 2022.

In a news release, USDA said these dairy farmers “will be able to retroactively receive payments for that supplemental production. Additionally, USDA’s Farm Service Agency updated how feed costs are calculated in an effort to make the program more reflective of actual dairy producer expenses.”

Dairy Margin Coverage is a critical safety-net for producers, and catastrophic coverage is free,” Agriculture Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Robert Bonnie said in an announcement.

“These DMC updates build on other efforts of the Biden-Harris administration to improve DMC and other key USDA dairy programs,” Bonnie aaid.

“We encourage dairy producers to make use of the support provided by enrolling in supplemental coverage and enroll in DMC for the 2022 program year.”

Eligible dairy operations with less than 5 million pounds of established production history may enroll supplemental pounds based upon a formula using 2019 actual milk marketings, which will result in additional payments. Producers will be required to provide FSA with their 2019 Milk Marketing Statement.

After making any revisions to 2021 DMC contracts for Supplemental DMC, producers can sign up for 2022 coverage. DMC provides eligible dairy producers with risk management coverage that pays producers when the difference between the price of milk and the cost of feed falls below a certain level.

So far in 2021, DMC payments have triggered for January through October for more than $1 billion.

For DMC enrollment, producers must certify with FSA that the operation is commercially marketing milk, sign all required forms and pay the $100 administrative fee. The fee is waived for farmers who are considered limited resource, beginning, socially disadvantaged, or a military veteran.

USDA is also amending Dairy Indemnity Payment Program regulations to add provisions for the indemnification of cows that are likely to be not marketable for longer durations, as a result, for example, of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

Details may be found in the rule set for publication in the Federal Register.

The National Milk Producers Federation urged eligible dairy farmers to sign up for the program through their local USDA service centers.

“Signing up for DMC, which offers cost-effective margin protection for small and medium-sized producers as well as inexpensive catastrophic coverage for larger dairies, is a no-brainer for 2022, especially considering the improvements we fought for in Congress and advocated for at USDA,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF.


“This year has illustrated just how valuable this program is for those producers that can take advantage of it, and DMC will once again be an essential part of many farmers’ risk management in the coming year. We thank Congress and USDA for making the program stronger and helping dairy farmers in challenging times.”


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