Signup for federal dairy disaster assistance continues until May 5

Signup for USDA?s Farm Service Agency Dairy Disaster Assistance Program III (DDAP-III) started March 5 for production losses occurring in 2005, 2006 and 2007 because of designated disasters.

Dairy producers that commercially marketed milk in the United States between Jan. 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2007, and suffered production losses attributed to a declared natural disaster may be eligible for payments under this program.

Producers must provide proof of the average number of cows, including both milking and dry cows, in the dairy herd and annual milk production commercially marketed by all persons in the dairy operation during years of the base period of 2003 and 2004 calendar years.

To determine the total pounds of eligible losses, producers must also provide the dairy herd numbers and production marketed for the applicable years 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Losses must correspond with an applicable disaster declaration for the county. Adequate proof of production in the form of statements, sales receipts, invoices and records is required from the dairy operation’s milk handler or marketing cooperative.

FSA will base loss calculations on comparing the expected base annual production and the actual production during the disaster year. FSA may adjust calculations for losses not caused by the disaster.

Payments are based on the annual average milk price for the marketing order for the applicable state for the applicable disaster year.

Only $16 million was provided for this program nationwide; therefore, payments will not be issued until after the signup deadline and FSA determines if payments will need to be factored.

Signup for DDAP-III ends May 5. There are no opportunities for producers to file applications beyond this date. That gives dairy producers a limited time to apply for benefits under this program.

Dairy producers should sign-up at the FSA office at the local USDA Service Center in the county where their dairy operations are located. Marion County dairy producers should call 620-382-3714 to schedule an application appointment.

Bill Harmon is executive director of the FSA office in Marion County.

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