Wisconsin has seen 449 dairy farms exit the business, a loss of 6% so far this year. Meanwhile, 10,000 dairy operations across the country could begin to see their Dairy Margin Coverage payments arriving in the mail. AgDay’s Clinton Griffths provides further insight on these topics in the video above.
Wisconsin Says Goodbye to 449 Dairy Farms
The purge of dairy farms continues in Wisconsin as hundreds more close or disperse in 2019. State officials report Wisconsin has lost nearly 450 farms so far this year. That means more than 6% of licensed dairies stopped operating in the dairy state during the first half of the year. Now last year, the state lost nearly 700 dairy farms.
USDA is also reporting that not all of these cows are simply going to bigger herds. The latest milk production numbers show cow numbers are down about 50,000 head compared to last year.
USDA announced the Farm Service Agency began issuing payments under the Dairy Margin Coverage program on Thursday. To date, nearly 10,000 operations have signed up for the new program, and FSA has begun paying approximately $100 million to producers for January through May.
“Times have been especially tough for dairy farmers, and while we hope producers’ margins will increase, the Dairy Margin Coverage program is providing support at a critical time for many in the industry,” said Bill Northey, USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “With lower premiums and higher levels of assistance than previous programs, DMC is already proving to be a good option for a lot of dairy producers across the country. USDA is committed to efficiently implementing the safety net programs in the 2018 Farm Bill and helping producers deal with the challenges of the ever-changing farm economy.”
Authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, DMC replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy). The program triggers a payment when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost falls below a dollar amount selected by the producer.
This is the first program of the 2018 Farm Bill to be implemented by the Agency. FSA opened enrollment for the program on June 17. Producers can enroll through Sept. 20, 2019.
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