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U.S. to pay dairy farmers $100M to offset new challenges

U.S. dairy farmers will get a second round of payments, worth nearly $100 million, to help offset losses from drought, supply chain issues and the COVID-19 pandemic. Image courtesy of the Department of Agriculture
U.S. dairy farmers will get a second round of payments, worth nearly $100 million, to help offset losses from drought, supply chain issues and the COVID-19 pandemic. Image courtesy of the Department of Agriculture

Jan. 23 (UPI) -- U.S. dairy farmers will receive a second round of payments, worth nearly $100 million, to help offset losses from drought, supply chain issues and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department of Agriculture announced the additional payments Monday, which will include ongoing assistance through the Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program, or PMVAP, and the department's new Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program, or ODMAP.

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"We announced additional assistance for dairy farmers, to help us better support small and medium-sized dairy operations that weathered the pandemic and now face other challenges," the Department of Agriculture wrote in a tweet.

"USDA is announcing a second set of payments of nearly $100 million to close out the $350 million commitment under PMVAP through partnerships with dairy handlers and cooperatives to deliver the payments," USDA under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs Jenny Lester Moffitt said in a statement.

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"USDA is also announcing new assistance targeted to small to medium-sized organic dairy farmers to help with anticipated marketing costs as they face a variety of challenges from weather to supply-chain challenges," Moffitt added.

During the first round of payments, PMVAP distributed more than $250 million to more than 25,000 eligible dairy farmers for up to 5 million pounds of milk sales that were negatively impacted due to market abnormalities caused by the pandemic.

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Smaller organic dairy farms will get some help from the USDA's Farm Service Agency through ODMAP. The new program will help those organic milk producers that have faced challenges following the pandemic, including extreme weather or drought conditions.

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ODMAP has been allotted up to $100 million to help those small dairy farmers struggling to stay in business. The money will be used to help organic dairy farmers with up to 75% of their projected marketing costs for the remainder of this year.

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