The year started off with disappointing milk prices for dairy producers and uncertainty about when the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program for 2024 would be available. On Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced details about the risk management program, with sign up to begin this week.

Dairy producers can enroll in DMC between February 28 and April 29, 2024. Payments may begin as soon as March 4, if payments are triggered for January 2024.

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) revised DMC regulations to extend coverage for the calendar year, which is retroactive to January 1, 2024. Another change to the program allows eligible dairy operations to make a one-time adjustment to established production history. This adjustment will be accomplished by combining previously established supplemental production history with DMC production history for those dairy operations that participated in Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage during a prior coverage year.

Farmers can select varying levels of coverage, including a free option at the catastrophic $4 margin level minus a $100 administrative fee. Payments are calculated using the margin between the All-Milk price and a calculated average feed cost. The program is voluntary, but in 2023, more than $1.2 billion in payments were issued to participating dairy farmers.

Producers can find more information at or by visiting their nearest USDA Service Center.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2024
February 26, 2024
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