The Maryland Department of Agriculture announced this week that it will continue its cost-share program to cover premiums for dairy farmers participating in the USDA’s Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.
Enrollment for 2020 is open and runs through Dec. 13. Farmers interested in participating in the DMC program should visit their local USDA Farm Service Agency office.
“Dairy is an important part of our state’s agriculture industry and our rural heritage,” says Gov. Larry Hogan. “In February, I announced $1.5 million in my supplemental budget to provide much-needed assistance to our dairy farmers who continue to struggle with high feed costs and inconsistent milk prices. Based on the success of this program in 2019, I am happy to announce that we will continue covering premiums through 2020.”
Earlier this year, Hogan announced a state cost-share program that covers premium costs for farmers to enroll in the highest level of coverage in the DMC program — Tier I production at the $9.50 margin level.
In its inaugural year, more than 80% of Maryland dairy farmers signed up for the DMC program. The department has worked closely with its federal partners to ensure minimal burden on farmers by making payments directly to FSA on behalf of participating producers.
“It is no secret that these are hard times for our dairy farmers,” says Joe Bartenfelder, secretary of agriculture. “I am thankful to Gov. Hogan for his continued support of this important industry. I encourage all Maryland dairy farmers to visit their local FSA office to sign up for the DMC program before the Dec. 13 deadline.”