June 4, 2024

Knowledge Exchange Partner

Boosting Dairy Farm Resilience: How the DRP Program Helps Manage Revenue Risks

Volume 18, Issue 6
June 2024


The dairy industry is inherently unpredictable, with market fluctuations, weather conditions, and production variables all contributing to an unstable income landscape for dairy farmers. Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP) is a valuable tool to mitigate these risks and provide a more stable financial footing.

What is the Dairy Revenue Protection Program?

The Dairy Revenue Protection program, commonly referred to as DRP, is a federally subsidized program designed to help dairy producers manage revenue risk. This program offers dairy farmers a way to protect against unexpected declines in quarterly revenue from milk sales.

Key Features of DRP 

Multiple Pricing Options: The program offers two categories of pricing options to allow farmers to customize coverage to their operation. Producers can insure the class pricing option or component pricing option. The pricing options are based on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) futures market.

Quarterly Coverage: Farmers can select coverage for individual quarters of the year, allowing them to tailor the program to their specific production cycles and market conditions.

Customizable Coverage Levels: DRP offers flexibility with coverage levels ranging from 80% to 95% of the expected revenue. This enables farmers to choose a level of protection that aligns with their risk tolerance and financial strategy.

Milk Price and Production Indexes: The program uses a combination of futures prices for milk and dairy commodities along with state/regional milk production indexes to determine expected revenue. This approach ensures that coverage is relevant to the actual market conditions experienced by farmers.

DRP Benefits 

Stability in Volatile Markets: Dairy markets are notoriously volatile, influenced by global supply and demand dynamics, weather conditions and policy changes. DRP helps mitigate the financial impact of these fluctuations, offering farmers more predictability and stability in their income.

Tailored Risk Management: By allowing producers to select specific coverage levels and quarters, DRP provides a tailored approach to risk management. This customization helps farmers align with their unique production schedules and market outlooks.

Accessibility and Affordability: As a federally subsidized program, DRP is designed to be affordable for dairy farmers. The subsidies make the premiums more manageable, ensuring that a wider range of producers can take advantage of the protection offered.

Support for Long-Term Planning: With DRP in place, dairy farmers can engage in long-term planning with greater confidence. Knowing that they have a safety net against revenue downturns allows for more strategic investments in their operations, from herd improvements to technological upgrades.

How to Participate in DRP 

Participation in the DRP program involves a few key steps:

Understanding Your Options: Farmers should start by familiarizing themselves with the specifics of the program, including the various coverage levels and quarters available. 

Working with a Provider You Trust: To enroll in DRP, producers must work with an agent who is authorized to provide Federal crop insurance. These agents can provide detailed information and assist in customizing coverage to fit the farmer’s needs.

Selecting Coverage Levels and Quarters: Based on their financial situation and risk management strategy, farmers choose the appropriate coverage levels and the quarters they wish to protect.

Monitoring and Reporting: At the end of the quarterly coverage selected, farmers will need to provide their milk checks or production schedules if they are due to receive an indemnity payment. 

Dates and Deadlines: Producers can sign up for the program at any time. If a producer has a current DRP policy in place, the policy can be transferred to a different provider once per year by June 30.  

Advantages of Working with Farm Credit East and Crop Growers 

Expertise in Agricultural Finance: Farm Credit East has a deep understanding of the agricultural sector, including the unique challenges faced by dairy farmers. Our expertise ensures that farmers receive tailored advice and solutions that are specifically designed to meet their needs.

Comprehensive Support Services: Beyond providing products like DRP, Farm Credit East offers a wide range of financial services, including loans, tax planning and business consulting. This holistic approach supports the overall financial health of farm operations.

Personalized Service and Strategy: With a strong commitment to customer service, Farm Credit East builds long-term relationships with its clients. This personalized service means that farmers have a trusted partner who understands their business and is invested in their success. We advise and make recommendations that are right for your specific operation. This is not a one size fits all approach. 

Access to Knowledge and Resources: We provide clients with access to valuable industry insights, resources and industry leaders. In addition to our partnership with Marin Bozic, we provide educational webinars, weekly and daily market reports, one-on-one consultations, and industry leading DRP technology. These resources allow farmers to stay informed and make more strategic decisions.

Proven Track Record: As a leading agricultural lender and service provider, Farm Credit East has a proven track record of supporting the dairy industry. Our reliability and commitment to the agricultural community make us a trusted partner for farmers looking to secure their financial future. 

DRP represents a significant advancement in risk management for dairy farmers. By offering robust, flexible and affordable program options, DRP helps to stabilize incomes and support the sustainability of dairy operations. As dairy markets continue to evolve, tools like DRP are essential for enabling farmers to navigate the complexities of their industry with greater resilience and confidence.

For those looking to explore DRP further, working with knowledgeable advisors is a crucial step. These professionals can provide the insights and guidance needed to effectively integrate DRP into a comprehensive risk management strategy, ensuring that dairy farms can thrive even in the face of uncertainty. Contact your local Crop Growers agent or our Dairy and Livestock Risk Management Specialists to learn more about the DRP program and how it can help protect the revenue of your operation.

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Crop Growers is an equal opportunity provider.


Editor: Chris Laughton
Contributors: Megan Clancy, Crop Growers Dairy & Livestock Risk Management Specialist, and Chris Laughton

View previous editions of the KEP

Farm Credit East Disclaimer: The information provided in this communication/newsletter is not intended to be investment, tax, or legal advice and should not be relied upon by recipients for such purposes. Farm Credit East does not make any representation or warranty regarding the content, and disclaims any responsibility for the information, materials, third-party opinions, and data included in this report. In no event will Farm Credit East be liable for any decision made or actions taken by any person or persons relying on the information contained in this report.

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