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DMC Sign-up Begins as NMPF Calls for Farm Bill

March 5, 2024

NMPF welcomed USDA’s Feb. 23 announcement that this year’s sign-up period for the Dairy Margin Coverage program would open Feb. 28 and run through April 29. Payments began yesterday for payments triggered by January’s $8.48/cwt DMC margin.

The DMC program for 2024 is improved compared to past years, due to NMPF leadership. The one-year extension of the 2018 Farm Bill approved in December permanently incorporated the Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage program into the underlying DMC. This important fix ensures that the 2019 production history update will move forward permanently with DMC and not need to be extended separately.

“Dairy farmers are pleased to finally have the certainty of knowing when the Dairy Margin Coverage program signup is beginning, and NMPF urges every dairy farmer to strongly consider signing up,” said Gregg Doud, NMPF president and CEO, in a statement. “We thank Congress for making this important change and are grateful for USDA’s work in rolling out this updated program for farmers.”

Still, the delay in DMC implementation – and its one-year nature – underscores the importance of approving a new farm bill, Doud said. Recent low producer margins show the critical importance of longer-term DMC reauthorization. NMPF is reaffirming its call for Congress to pass a five-year farm bill as quickly as possible. The House and Senate Agriculture Committees are continuing to develop their respective farm bill proposals.

“NMPF is eager to assist producers in any way they can with this program. We also look forward to working to ensure that farmers receive what they need even more – a new farm bill that provides certainty for the next several years, and not just 2024,” said Doud.

Dairy farmers who were enrolled in DMC in 2023 under a five-year lock-in contract received a 25 percent discount on their premiums. Those farmers will be eligible for the discount in 2024 as well. However, all dairy producers must still enroll during the 2024 DMC enrollment period.

For more NMPF resources related to the DMC program and federally backed risk management programs, visit here.