Farm Bureau: Dairy Margin Coverage Delays Cause Concern

196

Source: American Farm Bureau Federation news release

The American Farm Bureau Federation sent a letter today to U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Gloria Montaño Greene and Farm Service Agency Administrator Zach Ducheneaux urging the agencies to open enrollment for the Dairy Margin Coverage program as soon as possible.

Enrollment has been delayed by regulatory challenges and necessary software updates, yet enrollment for many other risk programs opened on Dec. 18, 2023, leaving the dairy sector open to risk not faced by other types of farmers.

“…concerns related to delayed payments and their impact on farm cash flow are escalating among many of our dairy farmer members. DMC program payments are triggered when margins are at their worst; and timely payments are critical to helping farmers manage through those bad times,” Sam Kieffer, AFBF vice president of public policy, said in the letter. “Delayed DMC payments jeopardize the resilience of many farms, especially the most vulnerable.”

Dairy Margin Coverage is a risk management tool offered through the farm bill that provides farmers with price support when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed price falls below a certain dollar amount.

“Timely administration of farm bill programs is vital to ensuring a stable farm economy that provides food security to millions of consumers domestically and abroad,” Kieffer continued in the letter. “We urge the Farm Service Agency to do all in its power to publish necessary rules, make necessary software updates and open DMC enrollment as soon as possible.”