The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the Farm Service Agency's annual Dairy Margin Coverage sign-up period for 2021 coverage will run between October 12 and December 11 this year. 

Two DMC payments have already been triggered this year after March's income over feed cost margin rose to $9.15 per hundredweight and fell to $6.03 cwt in April. A press release said the FSA has issued $100 million in 2020 so far to those who purchased coverage for this year.

More than 13,000 dairy farms have enrolled in 2020 coverage, the release said. The DMC, authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, helps dairy farmers manage their risk by helping them purchase protection when the margin between the milk price and the cost of feed falls under an amount chosen by the producer.

“If we’ve learned anything in the past six months, it’s to expect the unexpected,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “Nobody would have imagined the significant impact that current, unforeseen circumstances have had on an already fragile dairy market."

The release said all USDA centers are open and working over phone and online,  and some are open to visitors by appointment only. Those open for in-person contact will screen visitors beforehand, and all visitors are required to maintain social distancing guidelines and may need to wear a mask or facial covering.

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