The National Milk Producers Federation today commended Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for actions intended to provide relief to farmers impacted by significant flooding and rain this spring.
The Department of Agriculture has announced that farmers who planted cover crops on prevented-plant acres will be able to hay, graze, and chop their fields as early as September 1 this year, as opposed to the usual November 1 date, to provide for enough forage for dairy and livestock operations later this year. The Department is also allowing for silage to receive the same treatment this year as haying and grazing.
“This year’s problematic weather and disasters have created a unique set of challenges for dairy producers for whom feed availability is a critical issue,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “We thank Secretary Perdue for taking important steps to ease the feed crisis that farmers are facing in multiple regions of the country.”
NMPF has also endorsed the bipartisan Feed Emergency Enhancement During Disasters Act (H.R. 3183) introduced by Reps. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and Angie Craig (D-MN), which takes similar steps to alleviate the feed challenges facing dairy farmers and others in agriculture. NMPF looks forward to working with Congress and USDA to address this challenge.
WASHINGTON (June 14, 2019) – House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota and Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Chairman Jim Costa of California issued the following statements in response to today’s announcement of open signup for the 2018 Farm Bill’s Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.
“The purpose of the Dairy Margin Coverage program is to ensure dairy farmers have an adequate safety net when they need it,” said Peterson. “We put this program together in the farm bill to enable farmers to get their revenue from the market in those years when the milk price is up, but still provide a backstop in the event that milk prices come down or feed costs go up. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: dairies should sign up their first 5 million pounds of production history the $9.50 coverage level. I know times are tough, but this program is going to provide some real help.”
“Dairy farmers were on our minds throughout the entirety of the farm bill process,” said Costa. “Now that the program is being implemented, it is my goal to get information out to producers on Dairy Margin Coverage, as well as the other risk management tools available as soon as possible. DMC improves on the old Margin Protection Program in a number of ways including making it clear that all operations can enroll up to 5 million pounds of production history in tier one, regardless of their overall farm size. DMC also effectively improves catastrophic coverage by setting $5 margin protection at only half a cent per hundredweight, no matter how much production history is enrolled. As Chairman of the Subcommittee overseeing implementation of the dairy provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill, I appreciate USDA’s recognition of the issues confronting dairy farmers in all corners of the country right now, and I look forward to working with USDA as they continue their implementation of this program.”