GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Dairy Business Association and Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative issued a statement today regarding an announcement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that $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.
DBA and Edge appreciate and welcome the assistance this will provide to our dairy farmers who suffered a tremendous 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. We can 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. We encourage USDA to continue to work toward that goal.
The situation demonstrates the critical need for thoughtful and comprehensive reform to the federal milk pricing system. That is why DBA and Edge along with several other Midwestern dairy groups early this year formed a taskforce to explore long-term solutions that would create stability going forward, including protection from negative producer price differentials that sapped millions in potential farm revenue.
We look forward to more details about the rollout of the Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program and how it will affect our members.
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The Dairy Business Association is Wisconsin’s leading dairy advocacy group, championing smart and sensible regulations affecting the dairy community. The nonprofit organization is comprised of farmers, milk processors, vendors and other business partners who work collaboratively to ensure that dairy farms of all sizes have the support they need to keep America’s Dairyland strong. More information: www.dairyforward.com
Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative provides dairy farmers throughout the Midwest with a powerful voice — the voice of milk — in Congress, with customers and within their communities. Edge, based in Green Bay, Wis., is one of the top cooperatives in the country based on milk volume. Member farms are located in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. More information: www.voiceofmilk.com.