After significant market changes related to COVID-19, milk dumping is being reported by dairy producers throughout the country. USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is now taking action to reduce some of the impact that the extraordinary changes in demand have caused on the dairy industry. In a recent announcement, RMA indicated the agency would be allowing dumped milk to be counted as milk marketings for the Dairy Revenue Production or actual marketings for the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy programs.
“The market realities of the COVID-19 era demand solutions, and USDA’s decision is a balm for thousands of dairy farmers participating in these important risk-management programs,” President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, Jim Mulhern said in a news release. “We commend USDA’s decision and look forward to discussing further actions that can provide immediate relief for all dairy farmers, as outlined in our joint plan developed with the International Dairy Foods Association that we sent to the department earlier this week.”
Shelter in place orders throughout the country in response to COVID-19 have taken a monumental toll on the food service industry and its suppliers. The dairy industry has been struggling to shift production in response to the changes. The announcement from USDA will allow dairy farmers that participate in the programs to lessen the impact incurred from the dramatic supply-chain disruption. As part of the announcement, producers will still need to provide supporting documentation to Approved Insurance Providers to verify the milk dumping took place and what the amount was.
RMA will also be providing some form of relief for other producers, in allowing for more flexibility in a number of areas. Inspection deadlines are being extended, phone and other electronic transactions for 2021 crop year sales and reporting dates will be allowed, and some inspection requirements are being waived.
“RMA is making some further adjustments to assist the crop insurance industry and America’s farmers and ranchers,” RMA Administrator Martin Barbre said in the announcement. “We will continue to make adjustments as needed to ensure that the Federal crop insurance program continues to serve the risk management needs of our nation’s producers during this unprecedented time.”