National Milk prepares coronavirus requests

-The Hagstrom Report

The National Milk Producers Federation is preparing a letter to go to the Agriculture Department to ask for assistance, NMPF President CEO Jim Mulhern has told stakeholders.

In a document posted by the Milk Producers Council, a California group, Mulhern said: “We are preparing a dairy-specific letter to USDA to ask for certain types of assistance, either directly from USDA or as the result of combined action between USDA and Congress.”

“At this point, among the possible inclusions are:

▪ “Dairy Margin Coverage Reopening. Asking USDA to re-open the 2020 DMC program sign-up, as based on current DMC decision-tool calculations, payments are now expected for the majority of the rest of the year. This is an existing risk management tool that has the potential to deliver known benefits to producers.

▪ “Product Purchases. We are exploring a range of possibilities on this front. USDA has authority to make purchases under Section 32, but it’s unclear how much funding CCC still has available at the moment. Congress would need to replenish that fund as it did last fall should money be needed, possibly as part of the next economic stimulus package.

▪ “Milk Disposal Compensation. Given the potential for supply chain disruptions during spring flush or the summer school hiatus, we are reviewing whether other programs that have been created to compensate producers for milk dumping could be adopted for this situation. It’s possible that elements of existing programs could provide the basis for a similar setup to compensate farmers or processors depending on where dumping occurs, potentially with an incentive to donate milk.”

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