USDA providing $5 million to help organic dairy producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing a second round of payments for dairy producers through the Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program (ODMAP), providing an additional $5 million to help dairy producers mitigate market volatility, higher input and transportation costs, and unstable feed supply and prices that have created unique hardships in the organic dairy industry. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has already paid out $15 million in the first round of payments for eligible producers, bringing total ODMAP payments to $20 million.  

“This program is critical to keeping small, organic dairies sustainable as they continue to weather a combination of challenges outside of their control,” said Zach Ducheneaux, FSA Administrator. “In total, the Farm Service Agency is providing $20 million to give organic dairy producers additional economic support to stay in operation until markets return to more favorable conditions.”   

FSA accepted ODMAP applications from May 24 to Aug. 11. Eligible producers for ODMAP included certified organic dairy operations that produce milk from cows, goats and sheep.  

ODMAP provides financial assistance for a producer’s projected marketing costs in 2023, calculated based on a cost share of marketing costs on the pounds of organic milk marketed for the 2022 calendar year (or a projection of 2023 pounds of organic milk marketed if warranted in certain situations), not to exceed 5 million pounds. For ODMAP applicants, the first payment was factored by 75%. USDA has determined that additional assistance is still needed and sufficient funding remains available so the second round of payments will provide the remaining 25% of requested assistance to each eligible applicant. 

The second ODMAP payment is automatic. Participating producers do not need to take any additional action. 

ODMAP complements other assistance available to dairy producers, including Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) and Supplemental DMC, with more than $1 billion in benefits paid for the 2023 program year to date.  

Additionally, FSA recently announced the Milk Loss Program for eligible dairy operations. The program covers milk that was dumped or removed, without compensation, from the commercial milk market due to qualifying weather events and the consequences of those weather events that inhibited delivery or storage of milk (e.g., power outages, impassable roads, infrastructure losses, etc.) during calendar years 2020, 2021 and 2022. Learn more on the FSA Dairy Programs webpage.

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