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USDA extends deadline to enroll in DMC programs

Getty/iStockphoto USDA building
Dairy producers now have until Jan. 31 to enroll in Dairy Margin Coverage and Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage.

The USDA announced Thursday afternoon that it has extended the deadline for producers to enroll in the Dairy Margin Coverage and Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage programs until Jan. 31.

“We recognize this is a busy time of year with many competing priorities, so we’ve extended the DMC enrollment deadline to ensure every producer who wants coverage for 2023 has the opportunity to enroll in the program,” Farm Service Agency Administrator Zach Ducheneaux said in a statement announcing the decision. “Early projections indicate DMC payments are likely to trigger for the first eight months in 2023. We all know that markets fluctuate, sometimes at a moment’s notice and sometimes with no warning at all, so now’s the time to ensure your operation is covered. Please don’t let this second chance slide.”

The Dairy Margin Coverage program helps dairy farmers when the all-milk price and the average feed prices fall below a certain level. There are different coverage levels including a free option that only requires a $100 administrative fee. Certain producers, including those who are socially disadvantaged and military veterans, are exempt from that fee.

According to numbers provided by the USDA, nearly 18,000 operations enrolled in the program during 2022. In August and September, they received margin payments totaling $76.3 million.

The supplemental program was introduced last year. It provided $42.8 million in payments to small and mid-sized operations that increased production over the years but could not enroll that additional production. To be eligible, dairy operations must have less than five million pounds of established program history.

National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern issued a statement thanking Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the USDA for extending the deadline.

“With input costs at record highs and early projections showing possible DMC payments for the first eight months of 2023, it’s imperative that producers have time to consider their coverage needs and make choices that best fit their operations and risk-management plans,” he said. “Farmers also should use this extended DMC signup period to consider USDA’s full suite of risk-management options, all supported by NMPF.”

Farm Service Administration payments from the DMC program are calculated using updated feed and premium hay costs. Feed calculations are based on 100 percent alfalfa hay.

More information on both programs can be found on the DMC webpage as well as local USDA service centers.

Source: USDA

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