USDA Begins Issuing New Dairy Program Payments to Farmers

The Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency has started issuing payments to producers who purchased coverage through the Dairy Margin Coverage program. Producers can enroll through September 20, 2019. Enrollment opened last month, and the program coverage is retroactive to January 1, 2019, with applicable payments following soon after enrollment. USDA undersecretary Bill Northey says the program “is already proving to be a good option for a lot of dairy producers across the country.” USDA says the May 2019 income over feed cost margin was $9.00 per hundredweight, triggering the fifth payment for eligible dairy producers who purchase the $9.50 level of coverage. Payments for January, February, March and April also were triggered. The program replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, and offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost, known as the margin, falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. To date, nearly 10,000 operations have signed up for the new program.