April 30, 2019

USDA Launches Dairy Margin Coverage Decision Making Tool

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

USDA Tuesday announced the availability of a new web-based tool to help dairy producers evaluate participation in the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program. 

“With sign-up for the DMC program just weeks away, we encourage producers to use this new support tool to help make decisions on participation in the program,” Secretary Perdue said.  “Dairy producers have faced tough challenges over the years, but the DMC program should help producers better weather the ups and downs in the industry.”

[Access the tool at]

The tool, developed in partnership with the University of Wisconsin through a cooperative agreement with the USDA Office of the Chief Economist, was designed to help producers determine the level of coverage under a variety of conditions that will provide them with the strongest financial safety net. 

The tool calculates total premiums costs and administrative fees associated with participation in DMC. It also forecasts payments that will be made during the coverage year.

“The new Dairy Margin Coverage program offers very appealing options for all dairy farmers to reduce their net income risk due to volatility in milk or feed prices,” said Dr. Mark Stephenson, Director of Dairy Policy Analysis, University of Wisconsin, Madison. “Higher coverage levels, monthly payments, and more flexible production coverage options are especially helpful for the sizable majority of farms who can cover much of their milk production with the new five million pound maximum for Tier 1 premiums. This program deserves the careful consideration of all dairy farmers.”

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized DMC. It replaces the program previously known as the Margin Protection Program for Dairy. Sign up for this USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) program opens on June 17.

For more information, access the tool at