Baldwin’s Farm Bill reforms expanded support for Wisconsin dairy farmers during these tough times

Farmers encouraged to contact local Farm Service Agency office for details on how to sign up

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin worked to include reforms in the 2018 Farm Bill that expanded support for Wisconsin dairy farmers during these tough times, including the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program. Today, she is announcing that Wisconsin dairy farmers and producers can begin to sign up for the improved risk management tools offered by the Dairy Margin Coverage program.

Starting today, June 17, Wisconsin dairy farmers can go into their local Farm Service Agency office and sign up for new, 2019 coverage. Farmers who take the option and sign up for a full five years of coverage will get a 25% discount on their premiums. The new program is flexible, offering options that will work for any size dairy farm. Coverage is retroactive to the start of the year and support payments for the past few months have exceeded the amount farmers will pay in premiums for all of 2019.

“Wisconsin’s dairy farmers are facing a very challenging year. I encourage our dairy farmers to talk with their local Farm Service Agency office and work out what level of Dairy Margin Coverage would work best for their farm,” said Senator Baldwin. “This new tool is retroactive to the beginning of the year, and with prices so low, we know that farmers who sign up will see meaningful assistance back to January. I know dairy farmers are facing tough times right now, and I’m hopeful these tools will provide much-needed relief.”

Since the beginning of 2017, Wisconsin has lost more than 1,500 dairy farms. As dairy farmers across the country continue to face severe challenges with low prices and market instability, the 2018 Farm Bill substantially updated and improved support for dairy producers, providing flexible, affordable risk management options through the Dairy Margin Coverage program. Early analysis has shown that the improvements would provide much-needed financial tools to dairy farmers – providing significant benefits for all operations and ensuring the program addresses the particular challenges facing small and medium-sized family farms.

To learn more about sign-up, dairy farmers can go to their Farm Service Agency office or visit the USDA website. Farmers can use the decision tool from USDA here to estimate what coverage would work best for them.

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