Dairy programs continue to support farmers amid COVID-19

The Dairy Margin Coverage Program and other federal risk management efforts have served farmers during the coronavirus crisis and legislators say that assistance will continue, as long as farmers participate.

Between federal risk management programs and pandemic relief, dairy farmers have one of the best safety nets in agriculture.

“The changes that we were finally able to get in the Dairy Margin Coverage and the Dairy Revenue Insurance... dairy now has, I think, the best safety net of any part of agriculture,” Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) said.

Rep. Peterson is working with the USDA to continue improving the DMC Program. Federal aid is supporting farmers throughout difficult times, but Peterson shares concerns about future financial security.

“I’m really worried about what’s going to happen this winter... the only things that saved us at this point are these facilitation payments and CFAP payments,” Rep Peterson said. “If those stop that’s going to be an issue and number two... farmers are getting used to it and I think, potentially, there’s going to be a backlash.”

He wants to do more to plan for future economic uncertainty. The same way USDA creates preparedness plans for disease like African swine fever or foot and mouth disease. He adds that the programs only work if farmers sign-up.

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