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AFBF Applauds Opening of Dairy Margin Coverage



AFBF Staff

photo credit: Alabama Farmers Federation, Used with Permission

The American Farm Bureau Federation applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s announcement today that the Dairy Margin Coverage program will begin enrollment following publication of the rule in the Federal Register next week.

The program will be retroactive to Jan. 1 of this year, and coverage will be available through December. AFBF previously sent a letter to Deputy Under Secretary Gloria Montaño Greene and Farm Service Agency Administrator Zach Ducheneaux urging them to open enrollment for the Dairy Margin Coverage program as soon as possible.

“AFBF is pleased that FSA listened to our concerns and will soon open enrollment for this critical farm safety net program,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Dairy farming comes with unique challenges, and vital farm bill programs like Dairy Margin Coverage help farmers weather the storm in tough times. Any further delay in opening the program could have challenged the resilience of many farms, especially the most vulnerable. We look forward to the speedy implementation of the DMC program and efficient processing of claims.”

Dairy Margin Coverage is a risk management tool offered through the farm bill that provides support to farmers when the price of milk falls below the cost of supplies. Implementation delays resulted from adjustments to the program made when the 2018 farm bill was extended, and necessary technical updates.

USDA’s February milk production reports show that between 2018 and 2023 the number of licensed dairy herds has declined by 9,546 across the United States, with losses of over 2,000 herds in Wisconsin, 1,200 herds in Pennsylvania, 980 herds in New York and 945 herds in Minnesota alone. This loss of dairy farms is one of the reasons AFBF has advocated for reforms to the Federal Milk Marketing Order system, and for efficient and timely implementation of farm safety net programs.

“Timely administration of farm bill programs is vital to ensuring a stable farm economy that provides food security to millions of consumers domestically and abroad,” AFBF Vice President of Public Policy Sam Kieffer wrote in the February 6 letter.

To learn more about Dairy Margin Coverage, read Market Intel.

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