7 CFR § 1430.404 - Time and method of registration and annual election.

§ 1430.404 Time and method of registration and annual election.

(a) A dairy operation may register to participate in DMC by establishing a production history and, if eligible, supplemental production history, according to § 1430.405 on a form prescribed by CCC and also submitting a contract prescribed by CCC. Dairy operations may obtain a contract in person, by mail, or by facsimile from any FSA county office. In addition, dairy operations may download a copy of the forms at https://www.sc.egov.usda.gov.

(b) A dairy operation must submit completed contracts and any other supporting documentation, during the annual election period established by the Deputy Administrator, to the administrative county FSA office serving the dairy operation. However, the production history must be established only once and approved by CCC before the contract is submitted and considered complete.

(1) A new dairy operation that has been established after the most recent election period is required to submit a contract within the first 60 calendar days from the date of which the dairy operation first commercially markets milk and may elect coverage that begins the month and day the dairy operation has commercial marketings.

(2) A new dairy operation that does not meet the 60-day requirement of paragraph (b)(1) of this section cannot enroll until the next annual election period for coverage for the following calendar year.

(3) Dairy operations enrolling supplemental production must establish supplemental production history and apply for supplemental coverage during a special enrollment or coverage election period specified by the Deputy Administrator. Once supplemental production history is established, that history will be permanent and will include previously established production history and subject to coverage elections made by the dairy operation under the lock-in option according to § 1430.407(j) or made by the dairy operation in subsequent annual coverage year enrollments.

(c) Annual contracts with coverage elections are to be submitted in time to be received at FSA by the close of business on the last day of the annual election period, established by the Deputy Administrator.

(1) The applicable year of coverage for contracts received during an annual election period will be the following calendar year, except for 2019, where the election and coverage year will be the same, or unless otherwise specified by the Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs. Coverage for dairy operations that register during the 2019 election period will be retroactive to January 1, 2019.

(2) Annual contracts with coverage elections submitted after the applicable allowed time for submission will not be considered.

(d) If the dairy producer operates more than one separate and distinct operation, the producer must register each operation for each operation to be eligible for coverage. If the producer moves the same herd of cattle between two facilities, then the two facilities will not be regarded as separate and distinct but as one operation unless the Deputy Administrator determines otherwise. A separate operation must distinctly, as a single unit, have their own cattle, facilities, milk marketings, tanks, feed, records, State level licenses, and permits. All new dairy operations that did not participate in MPP-Dairy must meet all the requirements of this paragraph. A participating dairy operation in business prior to January 1, 2019, that participated in MPP-Dairy will automatically be determined as a “dairy operation” for DMC Program purposes in the same manner as under MPP-Dairy. In disputes regarding separate dairy operations the Deputy Administrator will determine what is a separate and distinct operation and that decision will be final. A dairy operation operated by more than one dairy producer will be treated as a single dairy operation for purposes of participating in DMC and may only, submit one contract. Only participating dairy operations enrolling using contract forms approved by CCC will be covered by the DMC Program.

(e) A participating dairy operation must elect, during the applicable annual election period and by using the form prescribed by CCC, the coverage level threshold and coverage percentage for that participating dairy operation for the applicable calendar year:

(1) Once the registration for a calendar year of coverage is submitted and approved by CCC, coverage for subsequent years does not automatically carry forward. For each calendar year, a dairy operation that decides to participate in DMC must register for a calendar year of coverage according to this paragraph (e) during the applicable coverage election period, except as described in paragraph (e)(2) of this section;

(2) During the 2019 annual coverage election period only, participating dairy operations that make a one-time election of coverage level and percentage of coverage, according to § 1430.407(j), will be locked in at the same coverage level and percentage of coverage for a 5-year period beginning January 1, 2019, and ending December 31, 2023. Dairy operations that elect the lock-in option are required to pay the annual administrative fee and submit an annual contract during the annual contract election period for each coverage year to certify that the dairy operation is still in the business of producing and commercially marketing milk. If the operation fails to pay the applicable administrative fees or certify the status of the dairy operation, the dairy operation will remain obligated for all applicable unpaid administrative and premium fees calculated for that 5-year period.

(3) All participating producers in the participating dairy operation must agree to the coverage level threshold and coverage percentage elected by the operation on the contract. Producers in the participating dairy operation that elect not to participate may not submit a separate contract for coverage. All producers that share in risk of the dairy operations production must be indicated on the contract with their corresponding share in the dairy operation, however, a signature from the non-participating member will not be required for CCC approval.

(4) During the 2021 special enrollment period only, for participating dairy operations that had a succession-in-interest occur from January 2, 2021, through the opening of special enrollment, for supplemental production history to be applicable to such successors, the predecessor must first establish supplemental production history. For successions-in-interest when the successor establishes supplemental production history before the predecessor, the successor's supplemental production history will be applicable for 2022.

(f) By registering to participate or receive payment under DMC, all participating producers in the dairy operation must certify to the accuracy and truthfulness of the information in their applications and supporting documentation.

(1) All participating producers who share in the risk of a dairy operation's production must sign and certify all submissions made under DMC that relate to the level of coverage and marketed production for the dairy operation.

(2) All information provided is subject to verification by FSA. FSA may require a dairy operation to provide documentation that supports all verifiable records. Furnishing the information is voluntary; however, without such information DMC Program benefits will not be approved. Providing a false certification to the Federal Government may be punishable by imprisonment, fines, and other penalties or sanctions.

(g) At the time the completed contract is submitted to FSA for the first program year in which the operation is to participate in DMC, the dairy operation must also submit a separate form, as prescribed by CCC, to establish the production history for the dairy operation. An established production history and a completed contract are both required to have a complete submission that is subject to approval by FSA. Production histories established for dairy operations under MPP-Dairy will be used in the DMC Program. A new production history will only be established for new dairy operations that did not participate in MPP-Dairy.

(h) In addition to meeting requirements in paragraph (g) of this section, the dairy operation must submit a separate form as prescribed by CCC to establish the supplemental production history for the dairy operation. A supplemental production history and a completed contract are both required for a complete submission that is then subject to approval by FSA.

[84 FR 28176, June 18, 2019, as amended at 86 FR 70707, Dec. 13, 2021]