Monday, April 29 is the last day dairy farmers will be able to sign up for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program in 2024. So far, enrollment stands at about 80% of what it was in 2023.

Last year, 17,120 dairy businesses enrolled in the program. That covered 78.5% of the established production history at USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). On average, farms received payments totaling $75,654 per operation. Nearly $1.3 million was paid out in all.

DMC has been a widespread, valuable tool to help dairy farmers protect their income when milk prices are low and/or feed costs are elevated. This year, margins for March through December are all forecast to be above the $9.50 per hundredweight (cwt.) top coverage level.

That’s in contrast to 2023, when the year finished with a $13.76 average feed cost per cwt. and $20.47 All-Milk Price forecast. While the All-Milk Price forecast is similar for this year, feed costs are projected to be significantly lower in 2024, averaging $10.52 per cwt. for the year.

So far this year, the January DMC margin was calculated to be $8.48 per cwt., and February finished at $9.44 per cwt.

All dairy farms are eligible to sign up with a one-time $100 administrative fee. Premiums vary based on what level of coverage a farm opts for. For more details and to sign up, contact your FSA office.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2024
April 25, 2024
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