Signups for the new Dairy Margin Coverage program begin today. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said this was one of the top Farm Bill implementation priorities since the bill was signed in December. Michigan Senator and Senate Ag Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow told Hoosier Ag Today that dairy farmers have been hit especially hard by unfair trade practices and deserved to be a top priority.
“It was my top priority to make sure the new program, which is much, much better and can actually provide support for dairy, that it got done as quickly as possible.”
Stabenow says signing up for the program really should be a no-brainer.
“We know that the coverage is retroactive to the start of the year and that farmers are going to receive payments for it at least the first 4 months of this year as soon as July, and so this is going to make a real difference, I think.”
And those payments from the first four months should exceed the premium required. Stabenow knows the old program wasn’t a good one and she hopes that doesn’t discourage dairy farmers from signing up for this program.
“This is a very different program. Unfortunately, in the last farm bill at the end there were those that came in to make cuts, and despite our best efforts to fight that, there were cuts made in the dairy program that really put it in that situation where it just wasn’t effective enough to really make a difference and really help during this downturn. (This program) is much better, much more robust, it will help farms of all sizes, have a lower cost, more coverage. All the way around, it is a much better program.”
You can stop in to your local Farm Service Agency office beginning today to get signed up.