Dairy Groups Submit Plan to USDA to Support Industry

April 9, 2020

The National Milk Producers Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association sent a set of recommendations to the U.S. Department of Agriculture urging the Trump Administration to take swift, comprehensive action to support the U.S. dairy industry through the COVID-19 crisis. The plan outlines how the pandemic is affecting U.S. dairy from farm to fork and underscores the main challenge facing the industry.

Alan Bjerga is the National Milk Producers Federation Senior Vice President of Communications and talked with the Western Ag Network's Russell Nemetz about how COVID-19 is impact on the U.S. dairy industry.

The groups say supply is exceeding demand by at least 10 percent--a gap that could widen as supply increases to its seasonal peak. They want USDA to use as many tools as possible to bridge the supply and demand gap without creating any long-term market repercussions.

"The COVID-19 crisis has hit the dairy industry with a unique set of challenges that impact our dairy farmers and processors equally hard," said IDFA President and CEO Michael Dykes, D.V.M. "As the impact deepens across our economy, the federal government must go above and beyond traditional programs and solutions to bring balance and certainty to the dairy industry. The CARES Act deployed substantial financial resources to USDA to address dairy's unique challenges.

Specifically, the dairy organizations want the federal government to go above and beyond traditional programs and solutions to bring balance and certainty to the industry. They also want the USDA to harness the productive capacity of U.S. dairy to address the growing and widening food insecurity facing many Americans by redirecting wholesome, nutritious dairy foods to food banks and national nutrition programs. And they call for the re-opening of the Dairy Margin Coverage program.

Source: USAgNet