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Farmer critical of Dairy Margin Coverage formula flaw

A farmer says the Dairy Margin Coverage program doesn’t account for one of the biggest herd expenses.

Michael Yeager and his family milk 300 Holsteins near Mineral Point, Wisconsin.  He says, “A huge cost of production that’s not ever been included in either the MPP (Margin Protection Program) or today’s DMC (Dairy Margin Coverage) program is the cost of fortification of these animals. Vitamins, minerals, salt, sodium bicarb.”

Yeager tells Brownfield the cost of nutritional supplements is not considered in the formula for the Dairy Margin Coverage Program and should be. “That’s things we can’t grow, and we’re at the mercy of the marketplace and have to pay whatever it demands, and this isn’t something that you can skimp on these animals.”

Yeager says the current feed formula includes 60.08 pounds of corn, but the formula doesn’t account for the real cost because farmers don’t feed whole-shelled corn to dairy cows. “So, a local co-op in our area is $22 a ton to have that corn ground and delivered. That adds, based on the 60.08 pounds of corn, that adds 68 cents cost per hundredweight to a hundred pounds of milk.”

Yeager says he hopes these issues are considered when lawmakers finalize the next farm bill.

Yeager spoke to Brownfield during a recent farm bill listening session in La Crosse, Wisconsin where he hoped to testify, but time ran out.

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