Last month, the USDA announced the details of the Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program (PMVAP) for dairy farmers. Recently, USDA hosted an information webinar for eligible handlers and cooperatives. To watch the recording, click here.

Through this updated program, USDA provided about $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 program is part of $6 billion of pandemic assistance USDA announced earlier this year to address a number of gaps and disparities in previous rounds of assistance.

Under the PMVAP, qualified dairy farmers will be reimbursed for 80 percent of the revenue difference per month based on an annual production of up to 5 million pounds of milk marketed and on fluid milk sales from July through December 2020.

The payment rate will vary by region based on the actual losses on pooled milk related to price volatility. USDA will make payments through agreements with independent handlers and cooperatives. Handlers and cooperatives will distribute the monies on the same basis July through December 2020 payments were made to their dairy farmer suppliers through a formula set by USDA. USDA will reimburse handlers and cooperatives for allowed administrative costs.

Additional details about the program are available on the webinar and will be updated at the AMS Dairy Program website.