Madison, Wis. [December 8, 2022] – The USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) recently announced that it has extended the enrollment and coverage election period for 2023 Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) to Jan. 31, 2023. The program’s previous deadline was Dec. 9, 2022.
This safety net program offers margin protection to farmers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed price falls below a price margin selected by producers, ranging from $4 to $9.50 for Tier 1 coverage, and ranging from $4 to $8 for Tier 2. This risk management tool is voluntary, with the margin calculated on a monthly basis.
“Extending the enrollment deadline has now provided more time for dairy farmers to schedule their appointment with the FSA office to make their enrollment decisions for 2023. Its not a question of ‘if’ a farmer should enroll, but when,” says John Rettler, dairy farmer from Neosho, Wis. and President of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative. “The DMC is an incredibly affordable risk management tool available to farmers, and its important to enroll regardless of price outlook. As we all know, the milk markets can change quickly, and when they do, you’ll want to have this margin protection as part of your risk management plan.”
Farmers skeptical of the DMC program paying out in 2022 were surprised to learn of a payment in August and September of this year. For the year 2022, 73% of all U.S. dairy operations with established production history are enrolled, representing 17,901 different dairy operations. Through DMC, these farms are expected to receive $84,540,221 in total payments for the year, with the average payment of $4,753 per operation according to the FSA.
FarmFirst has been a long-time advocate for this margin safety net program and continues to advocate for meaningful changes to the program. In recent years, FarmFirst championed for modifications to the program formula and its payment structure, as well as updates to be made to producers’ production history, which was achieved through the Supplement DMC program.
FarmFirst encourages all dairy farmers to enroll in the program ahead of the January 31 deadline. since the beginning of the program.