U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) — both members of the Senate Agriculture Committee — said in a press release that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended the enrollment deadline for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program to Dec. 20 due to the prolonged and extensive impacts of weather. The USDA announced it is also continuing to accept applications for the Market Facilitation Program through Dec. 20.

The senators said that the DMC program helps Minnesota dairy producers manage the volatility of milk and feed prices more affordably.

“Dairy farmers continue to struggle with market instability and low prices, and they deserve our support during these tough times,” Klobuchar said. “I encourage all dairy farmers who are not yet enrolled in the Dairy Margin Coverage program for 2020 to sign up before Dec. 20. I worked to include strong support for farmers in the 2018 Farm Bill and know that the Dairy Margin Coverage extension as well as the Market Facilitation Program extension will allow additional time for farmers to evaluate how the programs will benefit their operation and help them get through the serious challenges they are facing.”

The DMC 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.

“I’m glad that the Dairy Margin Coverage program has been extended because we should be doing everything we can to support producers who’ve been hit hard by years of low prices,” Smith said. “I fought to strengthen the dairy safety net and improve assistance for small and medium-size farms in the 2018 Farm Bill because I know it makes a difference in rural communities. I encourage Minnesota dairy producers to take advantage of this opportunity as well the Market Facilitation Programs.”

All dairy operations in the United States are eligible for the DMC 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 farmers.gov DMC webpage or contact your local USDA service center. To locate your local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-locator.