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USDA offers additional dairy assistance

The USDA has announced up to $200 million in additional assistance for dairy farmers.

A second round of Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program funding will provide nearly $100 million to support medium and larger-sized farms. 

The agency says farmers with fluid milk sales between five and nine million pounds from July through December 2020 who were not eligible for payment under the first round of the program can apply.

USDA plans to distribute the funds through agreements with independent handlers and cooperatives, with reimbursement to handlers for allowed administrative costs. 

The first round distributed $250 million in assistance to 25,000 dairy farmers.

A new Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program has been allocated up to $100 million to help smaller organic dairy farms that have faced challenges and higher costs over the past several years. 

The funds are provided through unused Commodity Credit Corporation funds remaining from earlier pandemic assistance programs. 

National Milk Producers Federation president Jim Mulhern says the efforts will aid thousands of dairy producers who otherwise would have absorbed losses created by policies that didn’t work and unforeseen market circumstances.

Organic Farmers Association executive director Kate Mendenhall is also thanking Congress for prioritizing family farms in crisis and the emergency relief.  

Find program details here.

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