USDA Addresses Milk Dumping, Authorizes Other Flexibilities To Help Producers Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

A news release on Friday from USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) stated that, “[RMA] 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.”

Friday’s update indicated that, “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.”

“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.”

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