Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that dairy farmers will share in $350 in pandemic assistance payments via the Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program.
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U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program is another component of the USDA's ongoing effort to get aid to producers who have been left bahind and build on our progress towards economic recovery. USDA

Farmers who received a lower value for their products due to market abnormalities caused by the pandemic will be eligible for assistance.

The assistance is part of a larger $2 billion package including permanent improvements to the Dairy Margin Coverage safety net program.

“The Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program is another component of our ongoing effort to get aid to producers who have been left behind and build on our progress towards economic recovery,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Family dairy farmers have been battered by the pandemic, trade issues and unpredictable weather and are the life-blood of many rural communities throughout Vermont, the Northeast and many other regions. This targeted assistance is the first step in USDA’s comprehensive approach that will total over $2 billion to help the dairy industry recover from the pandemic and be more resilient to future challenges for generations to come.”

Under the Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program, payments will reimburse qualified dairy farmers for 80% of the revenue difference per month based on an annual production of up to 5 million pounds of milk marketed and on fluid milk sales from July through December 2020. The payment rate will vary by region based on the actual losses on pooled milk related to price volatility.

Last month, 14 of our dairy farms in Maine, as well as dozens of dairy farms across northern New England, got an unexpected and disappointing notice from Danone of North America saying that they were discontinuing their contracts with our organic dairy farmers in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and elsewhere.

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