USDA addresses milk dumping, authorizes other flexibilities to help producers amid coronavirus pandemic |

USDA addresses milk dumping, authorizes other flexibilities to help producers amid coronavirus pandemic


WASHINGTON – USDA’s Risk Management Agency is ensuring that milk producers are not inappropriately penalized if their milk must be dumped because of recent market disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, RMA is extending inspection deadlines, waiving inspection requirements and authorizing more crop insurance transactions over the phone and electronically to help producers during the crisis.

Many state and local governments have issued “stay-at-home” orders and have shut down non-essential businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in market disruptions and preventing in-person crop insurance transactions.

Specifically, RMA is:

Allowing dumped milk to be counted as milk marketings for the Dairy Revenue Production (DRP) or actual marketings for the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy (LGM-Dairy) programs;

Allowing phone and electronic transactions for 2021 crop year sales and reporting dates, including options and endorsements;

Extending the deadline for some perennial crop Pre-Acceptance Inspection Reports (PAIRs);

Waiving the 2021 crop year inspection requirements for the Nursery and Nursery Value Select (NVS) programs in certain cases.

“Dairy Revenue Protection is a vital risk management tool for our dairy farmers, especially during times like these, and USDA wants to ensure producers continue to get the coverage they purchased. RMA is making some further adjustments to assist the crop insurance industry and America’s farmers and ranchers,” RMA Administrator Martin Barbre said. “We will continue to make adjustments as needed to ensure that the federal crop insurance program continues to serve the risk management needs of our nation’s producers during this unprecedented time.”

COVID-19 shutdowns have caused disruption in the milk market, and dairy producers are dumping milk as a result. For the 2020 calendar year, RMA is allowing Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs) to count dumped milk toward the milk marketings for the DRP or actual marketings for the LGM-Dairy programs regardless of whether the milk was sold. Producers will still have to provide to the AIPs supporting documentation from the cooperative or milk handler verifying the actual pounds dumped and that the milk was dumped.

Notifications and information may be sent by phone or electronic methods between policyholders and their crop insurance agents to do the following:

2021 Crop Year Sales and Reporting: To make policy elections, such as coverage level, and to report acreage and production.

Reporting Deadline for Options, Endorsements and Forms: To select options and endorsements occurring for the sales closing, production reporting date and acreage reporting deadline.

Policyholders will be required to either sign digitally or must follow up with properly signed forms no later than July 15, 2020.


RMA is providing the following deadline extensions for Perennial Inspections:

Florida Citrus Fruit Dollar and Florida Fruit Tree Programs: The deadline is extended to July 15, 2020, from June 14.

New Apple Tree Program: AIPs must ensure inspections are completed by July 1, 2020, the date insurance attaches to the crop.

Pecan Tree Program: AIPs must ensure inspections are completed by July 1, 2020, the date insurance attaches to the crop.

All Other Perennial Crop Policies: The deadline is extended an additional 30 days for applicable perennial crop policies with an inspection deadline due on or before May 30, 2020.

RMA is authorizing AIPs to waive the 2021 crop year inspection requirements when an inspection report exists in the policyholder’s file for the Nursery Crop Provisions and Nursery Value Select (NVS) for the 2017, 2018, 2019 or 2020 crop years. For the 2022 crop year, AIPs must inspect those policies that had a crop year 2021 waiver. Nursery Value Select (NVS) is a new program for the 2021 crop year, with a deadline for signup of May 1, 2020, and insurance attaching on June 1. Normally, any inspections should be conducted in May for insurance to begin, as scheduled, on June 1.

RMA announced other flexibilities on March 27 and April 3, including enabling producers to send notifications and reports electronically, extending the date for production reports, providing additional time and deferring interest on premium and other payments, allowing the use of self-certification replant inspections for certain crops and waiving the witness signature requirement for approval of Assignment of Indemnity. See all RMA Managers Bulletins for more detailed information.

RMA staff are working with AIPs and other customers by phone, mail and electronically to continue supporting crop insurance coverage for producers. Farmers with crop insurance questions or needs should continue to contact their insurance agents about conducting business remotely (by telephone or email).

For the most current updates on available services, visit

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Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., former Vice President Joe Biden’s choice as a vice presidential candidate, has said she is not a protectionist and believes in trade.But she has also said she would not have voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement, voted against the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement due to environmental concerns, and opposed the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations from which President Donald Trump withdrew, according to media reports.At a primary debate in September 2019 when she was campaigning for president, Harris said, “I am not a protectionist Democrat. Look, we need to sell our stuff. And that means we need to sell it to people overseas. That means we need trade policies that allow that to happen.”Harris has also been critical of Trump’s trade policies, calling increased tariffs a tax on the American people.Responding to a Council on Foreign Relations questionnaire, Harris said,Trump’s “trade war is crushing American farmers, killing American jobs, and punishing American consumers.”“I would work with our allies in Europe and Asia to confront China on its troubling trade practices, not perpetuate Trump’s failing tariff war that is being paid for by hard‐working Americans,” she said.Harris’s rural platform also said that she would take executive action to re-establish the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration as an independent office at the Agriculture Department and “appoint an Agriculture secretary who will prioritize enforcement of the Packers & Stockyards Act.”Re-establishing GIPSA has been a goal of groups that are critical of U.S. beef imports.Note: Links to Harris’s presidential campaign website have been redirected to the Biden campaign site, but the text of her “Partnership With Rural America” policy page may still be read through a web cache, at an analysis of Harris’s trade statements, Simon Lester of the Cato Institute wrote this week, “Where does all of that leave us? She does not seem to be an economic nationalist or isolationist, and she makes clear that she believes the United States should engage with the world economically.”“At the same time, though, the terms of that engagement are a bit uncertain. What exactly would she want to see in a trade agreement before she would sign on to it? She clearly wants more labor and environment provisions in trade agreements, although USMCA had quite a lot and she still voted against it, arguing that climate change should be covered as well.“Maybe the answer is simply that she wants to change the scope of trade agreements, so that they still promote trade liberalization, but at the same time continue their expansion towards general global governance of non‐trade issues. Vice presidents sometimes take on specific issue areas in which to play an active role. If Biden wins and Harris as VP has trade in her portfolio, we will find out more.”


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