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Biz brief: USDA extends deadlines

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Due to the prolonged and extensive impacts of weather events this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended the deadline to Dec. 20 for producers to enroll in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program for the 2020 calendar year.

The deadline was previously set for Dec. 13.  The USDA announced it is also continuing to accept applications for the Market Facilitation Program through December 20.

“2019 has challenged the country’s ag sector – prevented or late planting followed by a delayed harvest has been further complicated by wet and cold weather,” said Bill Northey, USDA under secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “Because some of our producers are still in the field, time to conduct business at the local USDA office is at a premium.  We hope this deadline extension will allow producers the opportunity to participate in these important programs.”

Authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill and available through USDA’s Farm Service Agency, the program offers reasonably priced protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

The Market Facilitation Program is part of a relief strategy to support American agricultural producers while the Administration continues to work on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets to help American farmers compete globally. MFP payments are aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations.

For more information, visit the DMC webpage, the MFP webpage or your local USDA service center. To locate your local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-locator.

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