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Economist estimates $2 million in aid for Stearns County dairies

Using milk production history, AFBF calculated dairy payments for each U.S. county.

Paula Mohr, Editor, The Farmer

August 21, 2019

2 Min Read
milking Holsteins
MINNESOTA TRADE AID: According to John Newton, American Farm Bureau Federation’s chief economist, Minnesota dairy farmers are estimated to receive $17.5 million through USDA’s Market Facilitation Program.Getty Images

USDA’s $16 billion aid package announced in late July for farmers hurt financially by trade disruptions included funds for dairy farms.

Under the Market Facilitation Program, dairy farmers are eligible for payments of 20 cents per cwt, with a $250,000 cap per farm operation or legal entity.

Trade disruptions have caused U.S. dairy exports to fall 36% by May 2019 from prior-year levels.

John Newton, chief economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation, reviewed the MFP for dairy and, using Farm Service Agency milk production history, estimated how much each U.S. county would receive in dairy payments.

Total U.S. production history is 185 billion pounds of milk, which translates into $351 million to $371 million for dairy farmers nationally, Newton wrote in a July 29 blog.

“If all payments are made, the $351 million to $371 million in dairy-related payments will represent 2.4% to 2.6% of all 2019 market facilitation program payments,” he wrote.

With nearly 39 billion pounds of production history, Newton estimated that California would be the top recipient of dairy trade aid payments at nearly $78 million. Following California is Wisconsin at nearly $50 million, Idaho at $27 million, and New York and Texas each at nearly $21 million.

The top five states are estimated to receive $196 million in trade assistance, representing 53% of all dairy-related market facilitation program payments.

map graphic of midwest dairy trade aid

MIDWEST DAIRY PAYMENTS: Midwest dairy states will receive millions of dollars in MFP payments. Wisconsin is estimated to receive nearly $50 million.

Estimates show dairy farmers in the top 10 states will collect $270 million in total, which is 73% of all dairy trade aid payments. Minnesota ranks 8th in the U.S. for milk production.

The top 100 counties across the U.S. combined are estimated to receive $216 million dollars, Newton wrote, with approximately 62% of total trade aid payments.

The highest-ranking county in Minnesota to receive trade aid payments was Stearns County, coming in at 27th. Newton estimated that Stearns County dairy farmers would receive $2.18 million. Other top Minnesota dairy counties and estimated payments include:

Winona, $1.17 million; Morrison, $976,439; Wabasha, $783,761; Stevens, $769,973; Goodhue, $702,251; and Olmstead, $494,867.

Go online for more information on MFP.

table: Trade aid payments by Minnesota county

The table shows each county’s Market Facilitation Program payment per acre and the MFP payment to its dairy farmers.

About the Author(s)

Paula Mohr

Editor, The Farmer

Mohr is former editor of The Farmer.

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