Additional dairy assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is being made available to producers. The support will be offered through the Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program (PMVAP) and a new Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program (ODMAP). Each program is intended to help producers who have suffered through market abnormalities related to COVID and drought conditions.
“USDA is announcing a second set of payments of nearly $100 million to close-out the $350 million commitment under PMVAP through partnerships with dairy handlers and cooperatives to deliver the payments,” USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt said in a press release. “USDA is also announcing new assistance targeted to small to medium size organic dairy farmers to help with anticipated marketing costs as they face a variety of challenges from weather to supply-chain challenges.”
The new ODMAP is aimed at helping the organic sector, which has encountered a series of unique challenges in recent years. Administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), the program will provide financial support to cover a portion of producers’ estimated marketing costs for 2023. Up to $100 million has been allocated for the program.
The PMVAP provides assistance to dairy producers that received a lower value because of complications created by COVID and ensuing federal policies. The first round of payments issued as part of the program were distributed to more than 25,000 eligible producers. More than $250 million in payments were sent out to dairy farmers through the PMVAP. Industry groups have expressed their support for the additional dairy assistance being made available.
“While losses due to the combination of unforeseen market circumstances and an inadequate Class I pricing system have not been fully remedied, USDA and congressional efforts will aid thousands of dairy producers who otherwise would have absorbed losses created by policies that didn’t work for them,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “It’s heartening to see such effective leadership for our industry on Capitol Hill as well as in the administration.”