Crafting Cheese for Four Generations
Schuman Cheese - Custom orders. Flexible solutions. Reliably excellent cheese.
The National Milk Producers Federation Thanks USDA for Coronavirus Response, Outlines Dairy Needs as Losses May Exceed $2.85 Billion

The National Milk Producers Federation Thanks USDA for Coronavirus Response, Outlines Dairy Needs as Losses May Exceed $2.85 Billion


ARLINGTON, VA
Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

Those within the industry have worked tirelessly to respond in a timely and strategic manner to the challenges brought about by COVID-19. The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) is one such agency working on the behalf of those in the dairy sector. Recently, the association commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its timely responses to COVID-19 while also outlining what agency actions could best aid dairy farmers as they brace for further market impacts.

Jim Mulhern, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Milk Producers Federation “Over the last five weeks, the [USDA’s] estimate of 2020 milk prices reflect a drop of about $2.85 billion at the farm level,” wrote NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern in a letter sent to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “Further drops are possible as the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak spreads. The demand shock experienced by our entire economy is turning what initially looked to dairy farmers like the first decent year in the last five into one of potentially widespread economic devastation.”

Dairy farmers and their work have been affirmed as critical infrastructure by the Department of Homeland Security. NMPF noted that these farmers will face price declines and unstable demand over the next several months, as joblessness rises, schools remain closed, and farm and dairy processing operations face unprecedented logistical challenges.

The National Milk Producers Federation commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its timely responses to COVID-19 while also outlining what agency actions could best aid dairy farmers as they brace for further market impacts

Congress and the Trump Administration have already helped by approving food purchases and offering flexibility in transportation rules, NMPF noted in a press release. In the letter to Sonny Perdue, the association said it looks forward to working with the USDA in program implementation, trade facilitation, and other areas, but said additional remedies will be needed, including:

  • Additional dairy product purchases, which will help Americans in need during what may be a period of very high demand at food banks
  • Compensation for milk disposal, a real possibility as logistical challenges on the farm and at manufacturing plants may create severe disruptions
  • Re-opening signup for participation in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program, the main safety net for dairy farmers, especially small and medium-sized producers. DMC participation declined in 2020 because of forecasts for higher prices that have been radically revised in light of coronavirus

“U.S. dairy farmers and their cooperatives will continue to be careful stewards of the naturally nutritious and wholesome product we harvest around the clock, 365 days a year. Like you, we understand the importance of steady production and steady consumption,” Mulhern concluded. “We hope to work with you on the priorities outlined above, as well as other issues that may arise as we collectively grapple with the consequences of this unique challenge.”

As the industry continues to weather the challenges, Deli Market News will be here to bring you the latest updates as they pertain to industry members.

National Milk Producers Federation
Topics: