On Aug. 19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced producers of nearly 17,000 dairy operations have signed up for the Dairy Margin Coverage program.

According to the USDA, the DMC offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

"We’re encouraged by the number of dairy producers who have signed up for this new program, but we are hopeful that we will get more folks in the door," said USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey in a news release. "At this point in the signup process, we are well ahead of the number of producers covered at this time last year under the previous safety net program, with more producers enrolling every day.

"As we move into the home stretch, we expect more producers across the country to get coverage through DMC and our team at FSA is really going above and beyond to make sure we get the word out there, the returns this year-to-date should speak for themselves."

The deadline to sign up for the DMC is before Sept. 20.

The DMC sign up began in June this year with more than 60% of dairies with established production histories enrolled in the program to date.

"For many smaller dairies, the choice is probably a no-brainer as the retroactive coverage through January has already assured them that the 2019 payments will exceed the required premiums," said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

The USDA Farm Service Agency began issuing program payments to producers July 11 with the DMC providing retroactive coverage to Jan. 1, 2019.

According to the USDA, producers who have signed up to date will receive more than $219.7 million in payments for January through June, when the income over feed cost margin was $8.63 per hundredweight, triggering the sixth payment for eligible dairy producers who purchased the $9 and $9.50 levels of coverage under DMC.

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