New federal insurance backs dairy farmers


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Agriculture can be a challenging business impacted by weather, market volatility and uncertainty, plus a dozens of other factors. But U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow says there is help for at least one sector.

The dairy business is an $18 billion part of the state’s economy and Michigan’s top commodity. In the last year, Stabenow said, 230 Michigan dairy farms went out of business.

Stabenow, the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, says an insurance program opened to dairy farmers this week can help. It requires paying a premium for up to five years but can provide payment if operators cannot break even.

The program, called Dairy Margin Coverage, is meant to help sustain dairy farmers during turbulent times.

“Because of the volatility from trade and the markets and so on right now, we know that our farmers that are signing up right now are actually going to find that the premiums more than pay for themselves,” Stabenow told 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday from Washington.

Producers should contact their local Farm Service Agency to sign up.

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