The Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program will be issuing more than $300 million in 2019 to nearly 23,000 dairy producers. California enrolled the highest production volume of any state, while Wisconsin has the largest number of farmers signed up for the program. According to an analysis from the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), dairy farmers would have only received a small fraction of financial support under the Margin Protection Program (MPP) which was replaced by DMC.
“The Dairy Margin Coverage program has proven its worth, with more than $300 million in farmers’ pockets as a result of our work on the farm bill with Congress and USDA,” NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern said in a press release. “We thank USDA not only for prioritizing the DMC in farm-bill implementation but adjusting it in a way that provided additional benefit to producers.”
Dairy producers appear to be much better served by the new dairy safety net program established under the 2018 Farm Bill. The margin levels in 2019 have been hovering above the cutoff point of the previous MPP, and below the coverage limit established in the new DMC program. NMPF notes that less than $100,000 in total would have been paid out under the previous MPP.
Wisconsin accounted for the largest share of program payments at nearly $68 million, with California coming in second in overall funding support with dairy farmers enrolled in the program to receive more than $27 million. The enrollment report shows that more than 77 percent of the nearly 1,350 licensed dairy operations in California were signed up for the program.
The sign-up period for the 2020 program will begin on Monday, October 7. “We encourage farmers who haven’t already signed up for all five years of Dairy Margin Coverage to re-new their sign up for 2020, and for farmers who decided not to participate in the 2019 program to consider it in the future,” said Mulhern.