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DMC Margin Rises in March

May 4, 2021

The March margin under the federal Dairy Margin Coverage Program rose $0.24/cwt above February’s to $6.46/cwt, with forecast for future margin’s indicating that February may have been the year’s low.

The March U.S. average all-milk price was $17.40/cwt, $0.30/cwt higher than in February, while the DMC March calculated feed cost was just $0.06/cwt higher than February’s. On a per hundredweight of milk basis, a higher corn price in March was almost entirely offset by a lower cost of soybean meal. The March payment for $9.50/cwt DMC program coverage is $3.04/cwt. On an annualized basis, the DMC program will have already paid the equivalent of $2.17/cwt for coverage at $9.50/cwt during the first quarter of 2021 alone.

Current futures prices indicate that the DMC program margins going forward may remain below $9.50/cwt until late summer, as rising milk prices compete with higher costs for corn and hay. USDA reported that 164.7 billion pounds of production history, or 79.4 percent of the total, was enrolled in the 2021 DMC program, with an estimated $223 million in payments for disbursement as of April 19.