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USDA INTRODUCES NEW ORGANIC DAIRY MARKETING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

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The USDA recently announced that it will now offer assistance to dairy producers within the organic sector with the implementation of the Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program (ODMAP). According to the agency, the program was established to help mitigate market volatility, higher input and transportation costs, and unstable feed supply and prices that have created unique hardships in the organic dairy industry. Specifically, under the ODMAP, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is making $104 million available to organic dairy operations to assist with projected marketing costs in 2023, calculated using their marketing costs in 2022.

“Organic dairy producers have faced significant and unique increases in their marketing costs, compounded by increases in feed and transportation costs and the limited availability of organic grain and forage commodities,” said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “Without assistance, many organic dairies, particularly small organic dairies, will cease production, which not only impacts the domestic supply and consumption of organic milk but also the well-being of many rural communities across the country. This program will keep our small organic dairies in operation as they continue to weather a combination of challenges outside of their control.”

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is providing financial assistance for a producer’s projected marketing costs in 2023 based on their 2022 costs. ODMAP provides a one-time cost-share payment based on marketing costs on pounds of organic milk marketed in the 2022 calendar year.

ODMAP provides financial assistance that will immediately support certified organic dairy operations during 2023 keeping organic dairy operations sustainable until markets return to more normal conditions.

Several industry experts commented on the announcement.

Adam Warthesen, co-chair of the Organic Trade Association’s Organic Feedstuffs Relief Task Force, and Senior Director of Government and Industry Affairs for Organic Valley said: “With unprecedented organic feed costs and inflationary pressures over the last couple of years, resources like ODMAP are really going to matter as farmers plan for the rest of this year.”

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