The Maryland Department of Agriculture today announced that it will continue its popular 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 December 13. Farmers interested in participating in the DMC should visit their local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.
“Dairy is an important part of our state’s agriculture industry and our rural heritage,” said Governor 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 is 2019, I am happy to announce that we will continue covering premiums through 2020.”
Earlier this year, Governor 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 USDA FSA on behalf of participating producers.
“It is no secret that these are hard times for our dairy farmers,” said Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “I am thankful to Governor 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 December 13 deadline.”