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USDA FSA Safety-Net Program for Dairy Producers Deadline December 11, 2020

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced December 11, 2020, as the deadline for the 2021 calendar year for the Dairy Margin Coverage Program (DMC). The DMC Program is a voluntary program that provides dairy operations with risk management coverage that will pay producers when the difference (the margin) between the national price of milk and the average cost of feed falls below a certain level selected by the program participants.

All dairy operations in the United States are eligible for the DMC program. An operation can be run either by a single producer or multiple producers who commercially produce and market cows’ milk. Each producer on the operation must share in the risk of producing milk and make contributions (including land, labor, management, equipment, or capital) to the operation of the dairy that is at least equal to the individual or entity’s share of the proceeds of the operation.

The dairy operation must also have a production history determined by the FSA, be registered to participate during a signup announced by FSA, pay a $100 administrative fee annually for each year of participation, except if the dairy operation qualifies for a waiver for limited resource, beginning, socially disadvantaged, or veteran farmers and ranchers, select a coverage level ranging from $4.00 to $9.50 per hundredweight in $0.50 increments and select a coverage percentage of the dairy operation’s production history ranging from 5 percent to 95 percent, in 5 percent increments.

“2020 has been a challenging year for agricultural producers, and we don't know yet what the next year will bring,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce in a press release. “Dairy producers should definitely consider coverage for 2021 as even the slightest drop in the margin can trigger payments.”

For more information, visit the farmers.gov DMC webpage, or contact your local USDA Service Center. To locate your local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-center-locator.