Dairy cows

Cows are milked at a California dairy. The USDA has extended the deadline for margin protection coverage sign-ups through Sept. 27.

USDA on Thursday extended the deadline for dairy producers to enroll in the Dairy Margin Coverage program for 2019 to Sept. 27.

The deadline had been Sept. 20.

The program offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between a national all-milk price and national average feed cost falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

“More than 21,200 dairy operations have already signed up for DMC, but we’re providing an additional week to help ensure interested producers have time to come into the office,” said Bill Northey, USDA under secretary for farm production and conservation.

Retroactive to Jan. 1, the program has already resulted in almost $230 million in payments.

“My message to those dairy producers who are hurting out there: Don’t leave this kind of financial assistance on the table,” Northey said.

Margin payments have triggered for each month from January through July. Dairy producers who elect higher coverage levels could be eligible for payments for all seven months. At certain levels, the amount paid to dairy farmers will exceed the cost of the premium.

Almost half of the producers who have signed up so far are taking advantage of the 25% premium discount by locking in for five years of coverage.

For more information, visit https://www.fsa.usda.gov or contact a local USDA service center.

Recommended for you