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Farmers can sign up for Dairy Margin Coverage
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Farmers can sign up for Dairy Margin Coverage

WASHINGTON—Enrollment for the Dairy Margin Coverage program began June 17 and will run through Sept. 20.

Administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency, the DMC is among enhanced safety net features in the 2018 Farm Bill for small, medium and large dairy farms. Producers can participate in both the DMC and Dairy Revenue Protection programs for the same milk.

The DMC makes payments when the national income-over-feed-cost margin falls below a set level. It is expected to provide more support than the Margin Protection Program it replaced, and it is more affordable, with premiums reduced 30 percent for the top tier of coverage.

The premium for a second, lower tier, available to those who need coverage on more than 5 million pounds of milk annually, was reduced 88 percent. Premiums were lowered to encourage more dairy farmers to enroll in the program, increasing the likelihood they could survive a price collapse, a spike in feed costs or a combination of the two.

So far, DMC payments have been triggered in January, February, March and April of this year.

Program sign-ups will provide coverage retroactive to January, with applicable payments following soon after enrollment. Producers can find information about the DMC at bit.ly/dmc0619, along with a DMC decision tool at bit.ly/dmcdetails.

Virginia is home to more than 450 Grade A dairy farms.

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