Several severe weather events in 2018 and 2019 forced dairy farmers to dump milk in many parts of the country.
Fortunately, the recently updated 2018 and 2019 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity and Milk Loss (WHIP-ML) program provides payments for eligible dairy farmers impacted by weather disasters between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2019.
Producers who produced milk that was dumped or removed without full compensation from the commercial market due to hurricanes, floods, tornados, typhoons, volcanic activity, snowstorms or wildfires are eligible to participate. Applications, currently available at local FSA offices, must be completed by February 1, 2020.
The period of compensation begins on the day milk was dumped and not shipped on the commercial market and ends on the day the milk was last dumped or removed. Even if a farm received partial payment for dumped milk through cooperative or insurance, they are eligible for additional compensation up to the established market value of the milk.
The WHIP-ML payment limitation is capped at $125,000 per year. Additionally, the program will only pay indemnity for a maximum of 30 days per disaster year. However, it’s important to note that bankruptcy status does not exclude a producer from requesting WHIP-ML benefits.
A producer with more than one dairy operation, must fill out a separate form for each operation that incurred a loss. Dairy farms with more than one producer should only complete one form for the entire dairy operation.
A copy of all sales documents or monthly milk marketing statements for milk marketed during the period corresponding to the claim should be submitted with the application. Sales documents must include the applicant’s milk pickups during the first 1 to 2 weeks after reinstatement to commercial markets.
Additionally, farmers must provide information regarding how frequently cows are milk and approximate time of each milking. Farmers should also provide approximate time and how often the milk is picked up by the marketing organization, size of geographic area affected by the disaster event, how the milk was removed and records of removal, whether the milk was measured before removal and photos of the weather event.