WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger—a Member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee—is encouraging Central Virginia dairy farmers to sign up for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program before the application process closes on Friday, September 20, 2019.
Central Virginia dairy farmers can apply for the DMC program at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. Click here for additional information on the DMC program, which was authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill to help dairy producers survive unpredictable and volatile changes to milk and feed prices. Click here to locate your region’s FSA office.
“Last month, I met with many Central Virginia dairy producers as part of my Farm Tour across the Seventh District—and they described the huge financial challenges they face on a day-to-day basis as they try to stay afloat, manage production costs, and ultimately succeed. As our dairy farmers continue to grapple with market instability and low prices, I’m encouraging producers in our area to sign up now for coverage options through the DMC program,” said Spanberger. “This program provides an improved dairy safety net for our Central Virginia farmers as they develop a strategy for long-term survival in an uncertain farm economy. Following the sign-up deadline, I’ll be urging Secretary Perdue to make sure payments are distributed in a timely manner—and I’ll keep working to amplify the voices of Central Virginia farmers, livestock producers, and agribusinesses through my platform on the House Agriculture Committee.”
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 improved DMC program, especially as dairy farms continue to close and consolidate in Central Virginia and across the country.
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, approximately 71 percent of American dairy producers with previous FSA production have already enrolled in USDA’s DMC program as the sign-up deadline approaches.
In March, Spanberger sent letters to Central Virginia dairy producers to update them on the delayed implementation of the program—and she has continued to communicate with them about the status of the program.