NMPF Critical to Disaster Assistance Extension

NMPF advocacy and assistance paid off for farmers in October, as organization efforts encouraged the U.S. Department of Agriculture first to offer, then to extend the application deadline for critical, long-awaited financial assistance for dairy farmers affected by natural disasters.

The Milk Loss Assistance Program administered by the Farm Service Agency is compensating eligible dairy farms and processors for milk dumped due to qualifying disaster events in 2020, 2021 and 2022, including droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, floods, derechos, excessive heat, winter storms and smoke exposure. It’s designed to help farmers and, in certain cases, cooperatives, recover losses previously overlooked by disaster assistance.

After announcing the program, which was created in a coronavirus assistance bill but delayed by rule-writing, in early October, NMPF urged USDA to extend its signup deadline to Oct. 30, giving farmers more time to participate. NMPF, which helped individual farmers and member cooperatives navigate the program, said in a news release and on social media that it appreciated USDA’s action, offering additional details to help members in a Member Alert.

“We are grateful to USDA for giving dairy farmers extra time to enroll in the Milk Loss Program,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF, in a news release. “This essential program will compensate producers for milk dumped due to disasters over several years. This extension will allow farmers more time to prepare their applications and fully benefit.”