Dairy farmers have a few days left to enroll in the 2023 Dairy Margin Coverage program from USDA. The enrollment deadline for the 2023 program is December 9. Chris Galen of the National Milk Producers Federation says the program is a valuable risk management tool for dairy farmers.
Galen; “This year has proven again the wisdom of having a government program that looks at not just milk prices but margins. That’s because this year we saw a record high milk prices, particularly in the summer, but at the same time input costs chased those milk prices just as high. And as a result, as we’ve headed into the fall this year, we actually had two payments generated so far, and it’s possible that we’ll get some additional ones this year, even though we’ve had a really good year economically for most dairy farmers. So, input costs remain a concern, it’s going to be an issue heading into 2023. And so that’s why we’re reminding people that now’s the time to do so and to make certain that you’re covered.”
Galen calls DMC a cost effective and affordable program for dairy farmers.
“According to USDA’s own data, we’ve got about 19,000 dairy operations enrolled in DMC, and last year they received more than $1 billion in payments. So far this year, the coverage level is about the same, a little bit less, and the overall payments have been less because conditions have been much better. But still most operations have received on average about $5,000, enough to cover the cost of your premiums even for the highest level of coverage. So, this is meant to be a program that offers cost effective and affordable coverage, certainly up to your first 5 million pounds of production.”
For larger operations producing more than five million pounds of milk per year, those farms can use the DMC, and other programs, including the Livestock Gross Margin Program and the Dairy Revenue Protection Program. USDA also offers supplemental coverage through DMC.
Galen; “Supplemental DMC coverage is applicable to calendar years 2021, this year 2022, and next year. And so, if you’re an eligible farm, you’re enrolled in DMC, you can then boost your production history, and that’s done automatically most cases, but they’re not going to do that if you’re not already in the program for the coming year.”
He encourages dairy farmers to enroll in DMC. “We know most operations are in the program, but not all, we’ve got probably close to a third that are eligible that are not using it. And so, we’d really ask those farmers to reconsider because as we head into 2023, we know that milk prices aren’t going to be as strong. we know that input costs are still going to be significant, and while this program doesn’t account for all input costs, it does for the key feed ingredients of corn, soybean meal and alfalfa hay.”
Learn more on the risk management page at nmpf.org.