A group of lawmakers is asking the Department of Agriculture to swiftly open the 2024 Dairy Margin Coverage program sign-up period. The program is the nation’s risk management tool for dairy producers that helps farmers manage changes between milk prices and feed costs.
The lawmakers, including Iowa Republican Representative Randy Feenstra, write, “Now, as we are nearly halfway through January, there continues to be no indication given to producers of when they will be eligible to select their DMC coverage level for 2024.” The delay, the lawmakers say, coupled with the unpredictable nature of the industry is “concerning for the farm economy and the constituents we represent.”
Throughout 2023, dairy producers faced numerous challenges – high input costs, continued inflation, and unpredictable weather conditions – meaning that programs like DMC, which provide certainty during unstable economic conditions, are vital to producers and rural communities, the letter says. The lawmakers urged USDA to quickly open the sign-up period to provide dairy producers certainty in 2024.