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Enroll Now for USDA's Dairy Margin Coverage

Enroll Now for USDA's Dairy Margin Coverage

By Andi Anderson

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is urging dairy producers to enroll in the 2024 Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program by April 29, 2024. Designed as a safety net, DMC assists in offsetting discrepancies between milk and feed prices, providing crucial stability for dairy operations.

Julia A. Wickard, USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director in Indiana, emphasizes the importance of proactive enrollment in DMC, highlighting its cost-effectiveness and risk management benefits. With payments retroactive to January and coverage extending for the calendar year, now is the time to secure your dairy operation's future.

The 2024 DMC program offers revised coverage and premium fee structures, including adjustments to production history for smaller dairy operations. Producers can establish adjusted base production histories through DMC, reflecting current production levels more accurately.

DMC offers various coverage levels, including a free option for producers, minus a nominal administrative fee. Additionally, the administrative fee is waived for eligible producers, such as limited resource, beginning, socially disadvantaged, or military veteran dairy producers.

To determine the most suitable DMC coverage level, producers can utilize the online dairy decision tool. Congress mandated regulatory changes to the program through a 2018 Farm Bill extension, ensuring its authorization through calendar year 2024.

Payments under the DMC program are calculated based on updated feed costs, making the program more reflective of actual dairy producer expenses. This includes using 100% premium alfalfa hay for feed calculations.

USDA offers other risk management tools for dairy producers, such as the Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP) plan and the Livestock Gross Margin (LGM) plan. Producers can contact their local crop insurance agent for further information on these programs.

For dairy producers seeking more information or looking to enroll in the DMC program, visit the DMC webpage or reach out to your local USDA Service Center. Act now to safeguard your dairy operation and ensure financial stability in an ever-changing market landscape.

Photo Credit: USDA

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Categories: Indiana, Government & Policy, Livestock, Dairy Cattle

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