Nearly 17,000 dairy farms enrolled in Dairy Margin Coverage program

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
Wisconsin leads the way with most participants enrolled in the Dairy Margin Coverage progam, with 4832 of the state's 6700 dairy farms ( or 72.12%) with established production histories already signed up.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)says that producers of nearly 17,000 dairy operations have signed up for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program since signup opened June 17.

According to the USDA's website, producers who have signed up to date will receive more than $219.7 million in payments for January through June.

To date, more than 60 percent of dairies with established production histories have enrolled in the program. Wisconsin led the way with most participants with over 4832 of the state's 6700 dairy farms ( or 72.12%) with established production histories enrolling in the program.

Wisconsin was followed by Minnesota (1,865), New York (1,779), Pennsylvania (1,511) and Michigan (702). 

Program payouts to already enrolled Wisconsin producers are estimated at $56.14 million. Producers interested in 2019 coverage must sign up before Sept. 20, 2019. 

DMC offers 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.

“We’re encouraged by the number of dairy producers who have signed up for this new program, but we are hopeful that we will get more folks in the door,” said Bill Northey, USDA’s Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “At this point in the signup process, we are well ahead of the number of producers covered at this time last year under the previous safety net program, with more producers enrolling every day. As we move into the homestretch, we expect more producers across the country to get coverage through DMC and our team at FSA is really going above and beyond to make sure we get the word out there, the returns this year to-date should speak for themselves.”

In June, when the DMC signup was announced, Secretary Perdue said, “For many smaller dairies, the choice is probably a no-brainer as the retroactive coverage through January has already assured them that the 2019 payments will exceed the required premiums.”

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) began issuing program payments to producers on July 11. DMC provides coverage retroactive to Jan. 1, 2019. The producers who have signed up to date will receive payments for January through June, when the income over feed cost margin was $8.63 per hundredweight (cwt.), triggering the sixth payment for eligible dairy producers who purchased the $9 and $9.50 levels of coverage under DMC.