AUGUSTA FREE PRESS
U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger is encouraging Central Virginia dairy producers to sign up for the new Dairy Margin Coverage program, which officially begins taking applications this week.
Dairy farmers can sign up for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) DMC program at their local Farm Service Agency office. Click here for additional information on the DMC program, which was authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill to help dairy producers survive volatile changes to milk and feed prices.
“As Central Virginia dairy producers face uncertain commodity prices, market fluctuations, and feed costs, I’m glad to see USDA and Secretary Perdue finally begin the process of strengthening our country’s dairy safety net,” said Spanberger. “Today, I’m encouraging our dairy farmers to take advantage of open signup and to begin making coverage decisions. For our small dairy operators, the program’s retroactive coverage through January is welcome news, and I’m hopeful this assistance will help keep many of the Commonwealth’s family farms financially afloat. As a Member of the House Agriculture Committee, I’ll be closely following implementation of the DMC program—and I’ll keep fighting to give our region’s crop and livestock producers the certainty they need.”
Over the last 10 years, the United States has lost over one-third of licensed dairy farms. Earlier this year, Spanberger and a bipartisan group of her colleagues urged USDA to prioritize swift implementation of the new DMC program, especially as dairy farms continue to close and consolidate in Central Virginia and across the country.
The DMC program provides coverage retroactive to January 1, 2019, with applicable payments following soon after enrollment. At the time of signup, dairy producers can choose between the $4.00 to $9.50 coverage levels. The DMC program replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy.
To assist producers in making coverage elections, USDA has also developed a DMC decision support tool.