NMPF Statement on USDA’s Extended Deadline for Dairy Margin Coverage Signup

From NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern:

“NMPF thanks Secretary Vilsack and USDA’s Farm Service Agency for extending the deadline for Dairy Margin Coverage Program signup to Jan. 31. With input costs at record highs and early projections showing possible DMC payments for the first eight months of 2023, it’s imperative that producers have time to consider their coverage needs and make choices that best fit their operations and risk-management plans.

“Farmers also should use this extended DMC signup period to consider USDA’s full suite of risk-management options, all supported by NMPF. While DMC is designed to promote stable revenues and protect against financial catastrophe for small and medium-sized producers, other options including the Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP) program and the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Producers (LGM-Dairy) program, both of which were revamped in the 2018 Farm Bill at NMPF’s urging, provide important and effective risk management.

“NMPF also thanks USDA for giving farmers who did not sign up for supplemental DMC coverage in 2022 based on updated production levels another opportunity to do so this year. Finally, producers should keep in mind that USDA is developing a separate milk loss program that was provided for in legislation enacted last year. The program reimburses dairy producers of all sizes for milk dumped on account of disasters that occurred in 2020 and 2021. NMPF is working with USDA as it develops the initiative.”

DMC Pays Again in September

The September margin under the Dairy Margin Coverage program was $8.62/cwt, up by $0.54/cwt from the August margin and generating a payment of $0.88/cwt for Tier 1 coverage at the $9.50/cwt level under the program.

The September U.S. average all-milk price rose $0.10/cwt from August. The DMC feed cost formula produced a $0.45/cwt lower feed cost for the month, due almost entirely to lower soybean meal and corn prices (numbers don’t add exactly due to rounding).

Together, the September payment and the August one for $1.42/cwt will return more to producers enrolled for $9.50.cwt Tier 1 coverage than their annual premium payments. Current forecasts indicate that, of the remaining three months in 2022, additional margin coverage payments are most likely to occur in December.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency opened enrollment for both calendar year 2023 DMC and for Supplemental DMC on Oct. 17. The deadline to enroll is Dec. 9, 2022.

NMPF Urges Farmers to Consider Federal Risk Management Tools as USDA Announces DMC Signup

Milk Loss Disaster Program in Works


With rising costs eroding dairy margins despite high farm milk prices, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) is urging farmers to sign up for maximum 2023 coverage under USDA’s Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program, an important component of federal dairy risk-management programs supported by NMPF.

USDA has announced that DMC signup begins today, with a deadline of Dec. 7. Despite record prices this year, accompanying record costs resulted in DMC payments for August for farmers enrolled at the maximum coverage level.

“The current combination of high prices with costs that can be even higher illustrates the basic value of DMC for producers who can benefit from the program,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “By calculating assistance via a margin rather than a target price, DMC offers a measure of protection against the current cost volatility that’s challenging many milk producers.”

Farmers should also consider signing up for federally backed risk-management programs appropriate to their operations, Mulhern said.

DMC is designed to promote stable revenues and protect against financial catastrophe for small and medium-sized producers. It’s 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.

Mulhern also reminded eligible farmers who did not sign up for supplemental DMC coverage in 2022 based on updated production levels that they have another opportunity to do so this year.

NMPF also reminds producers that USDA is developing a separate milk loss program, as provided for in legislation enacted last year. This program will reimburse dairy producers of all sizes for milk dumped on account of disasters that occurred in 2020 and 2021, including, but not limited to, derechos, excessive heat, winter storms including polar vortexes, droughts, hurricanes, and wildfires. NMPF is working with USDA as it develops the initiative.