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USDA Supports Organic Dairy Producers
Illinois Ag Connection - 09/22/2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking steps to assist organic dairy farmers by announcing a second round of payments through the Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program (ODMAP). This additional funding, totaling $5 million, aims to help organic dairy producers tackle the challenges of uncertain markets and rising costs.

The USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) had previously distributed $15 million in the initial round of payments to eligible producers, bringing the total ODMAP payments to $20 million.

FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux emphasized the importance of the program, stating, "This program is crucial for supporting small, organic dairy farms as they navigate challenges beyond their control. In total, the Farm Service Agency is providing $20 million to give organic dairy producers extra economic support until markets stabilize."

Here's how ODMAP works:

• ODMAP applications were accepted from May 24 to August 11.

• Eligible producers for ODMAP included certified organic dairy farms that produce milk from cows, goats, and sheep.

• ODMAP offers financial help for a producer's expected marketing expenses in 2023. These costs are calculated based on a cost-sharing approach related to the pounds of organic milk marketed in 2022 (or a projection of 2023 pounds of organic milk marketed if needed).

The assistance does not exceed 5 million pounds. Initially, the first payment covered 75% of the calculated assistance. To address ongoing needs, the second round of payments will provide the remaining 25% of requested assistance to each eligible applicant.

The second ODMAP payment is automatic, and participating producers do not need to take any additional action.

ODMAP complements other assistance programs available to dairy producers, including the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) and Supplemental DMC, which have provided over $1 billion in benefits for the 2023 program year.

The USDA is committed to enhancing various aspects of American life, including agriculture, by promoting local and regional food production, ensuring fair markets, expanding access to nutritious food, supporting climate-smart practices, and investing in rural infrastructure and clean energy while fostering equity and diversity across the department. For more details, visit usda.gov.


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