WASHINGTON — Dairy producers can now enroll in the Dairy Margin Coverage for calendar year 2020.

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency recently opened registration for the program which helps producers manage economic risk brought on by milk price and feed cost disparities.

“We know it’s tough out there for American farmers, including our dairy producers,” said Bill Northey, USDA under secretary for farm production and Conservation.

“As Secretary (of Agriculture Sonny) Perdue said, farmers are pretty good at managing through tough times, and we know that more dairy farmers will be able to survive with this 2018 farm bill and its risk mitigation measures, like the Dairy Margin Coverage program.”

The DMC program offers reasonably priced protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost — the margin — falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. The deadline to enroll in DMC for 2020 is Dec. 13.

Dairy farmers earned more than $300 million from the program in 2019, so far. Producers are encouraged to take advantage of this very important risk management tool for 2020.

All producers who want 2020 coverage, even those who took advantage of the 25% premium discount by locking in the coverage level for five years of margin protection coverage, are required to visit the office during this sign-up period to pay the annual administrative fee.

“Dairy producers should definitely consider coverage for 2020 as even the slightest drop in the margin can trigger payments,” Northey said. “Dairy producers should consider enrolling in DMC to guard against what has been, for several years, an extremely unforgiving market.”

The 2018 farm bill created DMC, improving on the previous safety net for dairy producers. DMC is one of many programs that FSA and other USDA agencies are implementing to support America’s farmers.

For more information on enrolling in DMC and taking advantage of an online dairy decision tool that assists producers in selecting coverage for 2020, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/dairy-margin-coverage-program/index

For additional questions and assistance, contact a local USDA service center. To locate a FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-locator.

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