USDA Announces Improvements to the Dairy Safety Net


The Department of Agriculture Announced details of the Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program Thursday. Through the program, USDA will provide $350 million in pandemic assistance payments to dairy farmers who received a lower value for their products due to market abnormalities caused by the pandemic. The assistance is part of a larger package, including permanent improvements to the Dairy Margin Coverage safety net program. USDA will contact eligible handlers and cooperatives to notify them of the opportunity to participate in the program. USDA will distribute payments to participating handlers within 60 days of entering into an agreement. The program is part of the $6 billion pandemic assistance USDA announced in March. Outside the pandemic assistance, USDA will also make improvements to the Dairy Margin Coverage safety net program updating the feed cost formula. The change will be retroactive to January 2020 and is expected to provide additional retroactive payments of about $100 million for 2020 and 2021.