Ag Policy Blog

National Milk Urges USDA to Extend DMC Signup Deadline

Jerry Hagstrom
By  Jerry Hagstrom , DTN Political Correspondent
With low enrollment in the Dairy Margin Coverage program, the National Milk Producers Federation wants USDA to extend the Dec. 11 deadline for enrolling in the program. (DTN file photo)

The signup deadline for the 2021 Dairy Margin Coverage program is Friday but the National Milk Producers Federation on Monday urged USDA to extend the deadline until Jan. 30, 2021.

“Extending the DMC deadline to the end of next month will allow farmers to better focus on the turbulent marketing environment we now expect to see in 2021, once we are through the upcoming holiday season,” NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

“An extension would allow more time for interaction between USDA staff and farmers — both of whom are working through the challenges of this very difficult year,” Mulhern said in a news release, noting that USDA last week announced a similar one-month deadline extension to assist fisherman applying for its seafood trade relief program.

“NMPF is urging dairy farmers to sign up for the program, given the high likelihood that payments will far exceed premiums next year,” Mulhern said.

The American Farm Bureau Federation said last week that the signup for the DMC is surprisingly low considering the benefits.

The Farm Service Agency held a video roundtable last week to urge farmers to sign up and to teach farmers how to sign up.

DMC enrollment has dropped each year. In 2019, 84% of eligible dairy farms were enrolled in the program. At least some farmers when the program began signed up for coverage through 2023 to receive a 25% premium discount. In 2019, DMC paid out $313.8 million, or an average of about $13,400 per operation.

About 51% of eligible farmers signed up in 2020, enrolling about 122.5 million pounds of production. The program has paid out $199.6 million in payments through Nov. 23, or about $14,878 per operation.

? USDA Farm Service Agency — FSA DMC Media Roundtable with Richard Fordyce and Marin Bozic…

CFAP 2 Application Deadline is Friday

The Agriculture Department's Farm Service Agency (FSA) has reminded farmers and ranchers to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) by Friday.

“With over 300 eligible commodities, from livestock and row crops to specialty crops and aquaculture, most farmers and ranchers are potentially eligible for CFAP 2,” Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Forydce said in a news release.

“FSA offers several options for farmers and ranchers to apply. Don't wait to check out our online resources and connect with our employees who are ready to answer your questions and help you get started on your application.”

Producers can find eligible commodities, payment rates, calculations and options to apply online.

Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., in a news release urged Minnesota farmers to sign up for benefits.

Smith said that many commodities grown or raised by Minnesota producers are eligible. This includes corn, soybeans, wheat, sugar beets, wild rice, apples, dairy, turkey, beef, hogs and pigs, and more.

“2020 has been a deeply challenging year as we navigate the public health and economic crisis of COVID,” Smith said.

“A Minnesota farmer said to me a few months back that with COVID, we are all in the same storm, but not all in the same boat. This gets at how we are all affected by COVID, and everyone's been affected by it in different ways. I feel a lot of urgency to help provide some certainty and predictability for Minnesota producers. I hope that they consider applying for this program, and I want them to know that I'll keep fighting to get them additional relief.”

On Monday, FSA announced that it has distributed $11.6 billion in CFAP 2 aid and approved 759,089 applications.

USDA — Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2…

Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter @hagstromreport


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