Here is a brief look at the news affecting dairy producers during the third full week of September 2023:

Natzke dave
Editor / Progressive Dairy

Digest highlights

Milk Loss Program: Frequently asked questions

Earlier this month, the USDA announced it was making Milk Loss Program (MLP) financial assistance to eligible dairy operations for milk that was dumped or removed without compensation from the commercial milk market during calendar years 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Read: Weekly Digest: Are you eligible for Milk Loss Program assistance?

This week, the USDA provided answers to a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding MLP eligibility and financial assistance distribution. Administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), sign-up for MLP began Sept. 11 and runs through Oct. 16, 2023.


Below are FAQs and answers:

Is all dumped milk eligible for MLP?

No, only milk dumped in calendar years 2020, 2021 and 2022 that was dumped due to weather events where no payment was received, or partial payment was received for the dumped milk.

Is milk dumped due to antibiotics eligible for MLP?

No, milk dumped due to antibiotics is not eligible.

What are eligible weather events?

Drought, wildfires, hurricanes, floods, derechos, excessive heat, winter storms, freeze, polar vortex and smoke exposure. Tornadoes are an eligible weather event for 2022.

Is a federal disaster declaration required for MLP?

No, a federal disaster declaration is not required for eligibility in MLP.

How will a dairy operation know if the milk marketing organization paid for the dumped milk due to a weather event?

The dairy operation will need to review the marketing statement for the applicable month and determine if pounds of milk production were recorded for each milk pickup. If recorded on the marketing statement, most likely the organization paid for the dumped milk.

How are the pounds of dumped milk determined?

MLP determines the average daily milk production for the month proceeding the month milk was dumped as the base period. The average daily milk production from the base period is multiplied by the number of days milk was dumped in the claim period and multiplied by the number of cows in the dairy operation herd.

What milk price is used to determine my payment for dumped milk through MLP?

The milk marketing statement is required to be provided at MLP application, which provides the gross payment price for the applicable month. The net payment price the affected dairy operation received is determined by deducting the hauling rate fee by hundredweight (cwt) and the 15 cent promotion fee deduction from the gross payment price.

What determines how many days of dumped milk loss are eligible for MLP?

The MLP eligible period begins on the day milk was dumped or removed and not marketed on the commercial market and ends on the day milk was last dumped or removed.

If I received an insurance indemnity payment for my dumped milk, am I eligible for MLP?

If insurance paid for part of the value of the dumped milk, MLP will provide an additional payment up to the fair market value of the dumped milk.

Do affected dairy operations applying for MLP need to complete eligibility forms?

Yes, the following forms are to be completed for MLP if not on file with FSA: AD-2047, CCC-860, CCC-901, CCC-902, FSA-510 if applicable and AD-1026.

Are MLP payments factored?

Yes, MLP payments are factored. A 90% factor for socially disadvantaged (SDA) affected farmers and 75% factor for all other farmers.

For additional information, read USDA’s MLP announcement and contact a local FSA county office. 

GDT index increases again

The Global Dairy Trade (GDT) index posted a second consecutive increase in an auction held Sept. 19. Prices in individual product categories were mostly higher:

  • Skim milk powder (SMP) was up 5.4% to $2,400 per metric ton (MT, or about 2,205 pounds).
  • Whole milk powder was up 4.6% to $2,799 per MT.
  • Anhydrous milkfat was up 5.3% to $4,787 per MT.
  • Butter was up 3.8% to $4,732 per MT.
  • Cheddar cheese was down 1.7% to $4,044 per MT.

The GDT platform offers dairy products from several global companies: Fonterra (New Zealand), Darigold, Valley Milk and Dairy America (U.S.), Amul (India), Arla (Denmark), Arla Foods Ingredients (Denmark) and Polish Dairy (Poland).

The next GDT auction is Oct. 3. 

In case you missed it

  • Addressing veterinary shortage: U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) introduced the Rural Veterinary Workforce Act S.2829, a proposal providing tax benefits to veterinarians to encourage them to practice in rural communities.
  • Dairy in dietary guidelines: Leaders of both the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) submitted comments to the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). The panel of 20 nutrition and public health experts are tasked with providing a scientific report to inform the federal government’s 2025-30 update to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA).