Eligible dairy producers can sign up for the Dairy Disaster Assistance Program at local U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency service centers today.
DDAP-III will help dairy producers recover production losses resulting from a variety of adverse weather conditions in the last few years. The program provides $16 million in benefits to dairy producers for production losses that occurred between Jan. 1, 2005, and Feb. 28, 2007, because of qualifying natural disasters. It compensates producers for production losses that resulted from lost herds or dumped milk when dairy plants closed or the natural disaster damaged containment equipment. Additionally, power outages, fuel shortages, and infrastructure damage may have temporarily interrupted the flow of dairy products to markets.
To be eligible for DDAP-III, dairy producers must have suffered losses in primary and contiguous counties declared or designated a natural disaster. Also, producers in counties receiving an FSA Administrator’s Physical Loss Notice determination are eligible.
Under proposed rules, USDA will calculate payments to eligible producers by multiplying the eligible pounds by the average price received for commercial milk production in the affected areas during the disaster for 2005 and 2006, and for the months of January and February 2007. If the total amount of funding (less any reserve established for disputed claims) is insufficient to compensate eligible producers for losses, then USDA will pay losses at two levels in an effort to more equitably distribute the limited funds and maximize the effectiveness of the program. USDA provides more information on proposed DDAP-III provisions in a fact sheet posted online at: disaster.fsa.usda.gov.