February 28, 2019

Update: When Will You See Farm Bill Implementation?

 |  By: Mike Opperman

Dairy producers have been waiting for news about when they will be able to benefit from some of the provisions outlined in the 2018 farm bill. The government shutdown delayed much of the payments outlined in the bill and also set aside opportunities for producers to sign up for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program. 

USDA Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue provided an update on farm bill timelines:

  • End of April: USDA to issue premium refunds to dairy farmers. The 2018 farm bill provides payback to producers who participated in the former Margin Protection Program between 2014 and 2017. There are two options: get half of the insurance premiums back in direct payments or receive 75% as a credit toward purchasing coverage under the DMC.  
  • June 17: DMC signup opens. Perdue says he expects DMC payments to begin as soon as July 8, according to Jim Wiesemeyer, Washington analyst with Pro Farmer. Monthly payouts will be retroactive to January.
  • September 1: Commodity program signups. Producers who also grow crops can decide whether to enroll in Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) which, according to Wiesemeyer, trigger payments when either a producer’s average revenue or a commodity’s price falls below levels set by Congress. 
  • December 1: General enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program. The 2018 Farm Bill gradually increases a cap on the number of acres that can be enrolled in CRP, from 24 million to 27 million by 2023, Wiesemeyer says. 

For more information on the DMC and other safety nets established through the 2018 farm bill, see these stories:

Dairy Margin Coverage Program Offers Best Risk Protection

Dairy-RP Tool Helps Producers Make Insurance Decisions

USDA Under Pressure To Quickly Implement Dairy Programs