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Finstad, Feenstra among those on letter to USDA

Minnesota Congressman Brad Finstad and Iowa Congressman Randy Feenstra led a group of nine House Republican colleagues in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Zach Ducheneaux urging the administration to swiftly open enrollment for the 2024 Dairy Margin Coverage Program. 

The Dairy Margin Coverage Program serves as a critical risk management tool for southern Minnesota dairy farmers; however, enrollment has been delayed since Jan. 1, causing concern for dairy producers who rely on the program to help them navigate market uncertainty and protect against rising inflation. 

In part, the letter reads:

“Throughout 2023 our producers faced numerous challenges – high input costs, continued inflation, and unpredictable weather conditions to name a few – meaning that programs like DMC, which provide certainty during unstable economic conditions, are vital to our producers and rural communities […] Our nation and farm economy rely on the hard-working people that dedicate their lives to feeding and fueling the world, and we need to ensure they have the risk management tools they need to succeed.

“Now, as we are nearly halfway through January, there continues to be no indication given to producers of when they will be eligible to select their DMC coverage level for 2024. This delay in DMC enrollment coupled with the already unpredictable nature of the industry is concerning for the farm economy and the constituents we represent. Transparency and communication are needed from USDA as the enrollment period continues to be delayed.” 

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