FarmFirst Approves Latest USDA Announcement

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative approves of USDA’s recent announcement regarding improvements to the Dairy Margin Coverage Program in addition to the news of the Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program.

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative President John Rettler, a dairy farmer from Neosho, says the program updates the feed cost formula to better reflect the actual cost dairy farmers pay for high quality alfalfa. This change will be retroactive to January 2020 and is expected to provide additional payments of about $100 million for 2020 and 2021.

“Making improvements to the Dairy Margin Coverage program has been a priority for FarmFirst and we are glad to see the change become a permanent part of the safety net program,” Rettler says. “Finessing and perfecting the smaller details of the dairy margin coverage formula allows it to reflect actual costs make a world of a difference for dairy farmers; in that it becomes a much more accurate compensation of losses experienced.”

FarmFirst has also been a long-time advocate for the Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage program, which will reflect modest increases in farm milk production history.

“These small improvements to the program allow it to more accurately reflect farmers’ true margin losses and in turn, allow the program to perform as it was intended to — to support dairy farmers when their cash flow is tight,” Rettler says.

FarmFirst also approves of the Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program. Rettler explains that this program will have minimal impact on cooperative members and dairy farms in the Upper Midwest due to lower Class I utilization, but others in the country will benefit.