U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, D-Minn., both members of the Senate Agriculture Committees, said starting June 17, Minnesota dairy producers are eligible to sign up for the new Dairy Margin Coverage program, which helps dairy producers more affordably manage the volatility of milk and feed prices.
The senators encouraged producers to sign up at their local Farm Service Agency office.
Sens. Klobuchar and Smith said the new Dairy Margin Coverage program replaces the old Margin Protection Program, and offers higher coverage levels at more affordable rates for small and medium-sized dairy farms, along with greater flexibility in coverage for farms of all sizes.
"As an essential part of our economy, our dairy farmers deserve our help during tough times like these," Klobuchar said in a news release. "I encourage all dairy farmers to sign up now for the Dairy Margin Coverage program so they can receive the support that they need."
"Dairy producers in Minnesota and across the country have been hit hard by years of low prices, and too many got little or no help from the previous dairy safety net," Smith said. "The bipartisan Farm Bill passed in December will make protections more affordable and the rules more flexible so that many more producers can get the help they need when prices are low and feed costs are high. I encourage Minnesota producers to sign up."
The new program 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. All dairy operations in the United States are eligible for the Dairy Margin Coverage program. An operation can be run either by a single producer or multiple producers who commercially produce and market cows' milk. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2Ed2gMz or contact a local U.S. Department of Agriculture service center. To locate a local Farm Service Agency office, visit farmers.gov/service-locator.