Milk Loss Assistance Available for Dairy Operations Hurt by Disasters

Dan Dairy, Marketing, USDA-FSA

Milk Loss

The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced Milk Loss Program (MLP) assistance for eligible dairy operations for milk that was dumped or removed, without compensation, from the commercial milk market due to qualifying weather events and the consequences of those weather events that inhibited delivery or storage of milk (e.g., power outages, impassable roads, infrastructure losses, etc.) during calendar years 2020, 2021 and 2022.?Administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), signup for MLP began Sept. 11 and runs through Oct. 16, 2023.

On Dec. 29, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act (P.L. 117-43), providing $10 billion for crop losses, including milk losses due to qualifying disaster events that occurred in calendar years 2020 and 2021. Additionally, the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023 (Pub. L. 117-328) provides approximately $3 billion for disaster assistance for similar losses that occurred in calendar year 2022.


MLP compensates dairy operations for milk dumped or removed without compensation from the commercial milk market due to qualifying disaster events, including droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, floods, derechos, excessive heat, winter storms, freeze, and smoke exposure that occurred in the 2020, 2021 and 2022 calendar years. Tornadoes are considered a qualifying disaster event for calendar year 2022 only.??

The milk loss claim period is each calendar month that milk was dumped or removed from the commercial market. Each MLP application covers the loss in a single calendar month. Milk loss that occurs in more than one calendar month due to the same qualifying weather event requires a separate application for each month.

The days that are eligible for assistance begin on the date the milk was removed or dumped and for concurrent days milk was removed or dumped. Once the dairy operation restarts milk marketing, the dairy operation is ineligible for assistance unless after restarting commercial milk marketing, additional milk is dumped due to the same qualifying disaster event.

For more details about MLP and to apply, contact FSA at your local USDA Service Center.