USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey says more than 5,000 dairy operations have signed up for the new Dairy Margin Coverage Program. The exact number was 5,364 as of last Thursday afternoon. Northey says about 40,000 dairy operations are eligible to enroll, but overall he’s pleased with the number of producers who’ve signed up since June 17. The DMC, created by the 2018 Farm Bill, replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, which many producers didn’t like. The Hagstrom Report says the new program will make payments to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount, which is selected by each producer when they sign up for the program.
Northey did say the DMC will not solve all the problems of the dairy industry but told reporters last week that it “offers a little bit of support in a challenging time.” The program is retroactive to January first, while USDA is hopeful of making payments soon. The White House Office of Management and Budget is still working on approving all the details of the program.