Dairy Groups Welcome USDA Aid

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $350 million will be used to help dairy farmers who lost revenue due to the pandemic.

Under the Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program, dairy farmers could receive payments for 80 percent of the revenue difference per month, limited to annual production of up to 5 million pounds of milk that was marketed from July through December 2020. The assistance is part of a larger package that includes permanent changes to the Dairy Margin Coverage safety net program.

The Dairy Business Association and Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative said they welcome the assistance to those dairy farmers who suffered a blow when the pandemic twisted supply chains and turned markets upside down.

The payment program will make many farmers eligible for assistance closer to their actual losses. DBA and Edge said they appreciate the difficulty in trying to ensure equitability within a complex system made even more so by the once-in-a-century disruptions caused by the pandemic. The sister organizations encourage USDA to continue to work toward that goal.