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DMC Signup to Begin; USDA, Congress Thanked for NMPF-Backed Improvements

December 8, 2021

The National Milk Producers Federation is urging farmers to sign up for maximum coverage in 2022 under the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program, which USDA today announced will open for enrollment from Monday, Dec. 13, through Feb. 18. This year’s DMC signup is accompanied by new enhancements that make the program even more valuable for producers seeking protection against unforeseen market risks.

“Signing up for DMC, which offers cost-effective margin protection for small and medium-sized producers as well as inexpensive catastrophic coverage for larger dairies, is a no-brainer for 2022, especially considering the improvements we fought for in Congress and advocated for at USDA,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “This year has illustrated just how valuable this program is for those producers that can take advantage of it, and DMC will once again be an essential part of many farmers’ risk management in the coming year. We thank Congress and USDA for making the program stronger and helping dairy farmers in challenging times.”

DMC is part of a suite of federally backed risk-management tools, including the Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP) program and the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Producers (LGM-Dairy) program, which were revamped in the 2018 Farm Bill at NMPF’s urging. DMC resulted from NMPF’s effort to improve inadequate federal margin-protection insurance. LGM-Dairy and DRP were made workable via NMPF’s efforts to remove spending caps and a ban on enrollment in multiple programs, which previously limited their usefulness.

More than $1.1 billion – a record – in DMC payments are expected to be distributed to dairy producers under the 2021 program, according to USDA data as of Dec. 6.

While DMC in 2022 will fully incorporate the premium-quality alfalfa price into the DMC feed cost formula, an improvement from the current structure that uses a 50-50 blend between the premium-quality price and the regular price, USDA will make retroactive payments to producers to January 2020. Meanwhile, the new Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage program will enable some producers who are also enrolled in DMC to receive additional payments reflecting increases in their production since 2014 retroactively to January 2021.

Both improvements occurred at NMPF’s urging. The alfalfa recalculation also will further benefit dairy in the next farm bill, as it will increase the amount of funds available for all programs that benefit dairy farmers.