Casey: PA Farmers Who Had to Dump Milk Due to Recent Flooding Will Receive Payments

Federal Programs Will Help Relieve the Burden on Rural Farms

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that Pennsylvania farmers in the Northeast federal milk marketing order who had to dump milk because of recent flooding will receive payments at market value for the lost milk through the United States Department of Agriculture.

“A number of Pennsylvania farms have been devastated by recent flooding,” said Senator Casey. “This is an important first step which will help with lost revenues and allow Pennsylvania farmers to start rebuilding after this disaster.”

According to the USDA: Hurricane Irene affected the ability of some dairy cooperatives and handlers in the Northeast to pick up milk at local farms.  In some instances milk was dumped on the farm when it was unable to be picked up on a timely basis or where loss of power impacted milk quality, rendering such milk as non-Grade A.  Due to the impact of this natural disaster on dairy farmers in the Northeast federal milk marketing order, USDA is taking administrative action to include this milk as part of the Federal milk marketing order pool for the months of August and September as needed, although it was never delivered to a plant for processing. This decision will enable cooperatives and handlers to pay the Federal order blend price to affected producers on all the volume that they produced including any milk dumped due to Hurricane Irene. Some milk in Pennsylvania is regulated under the State’s marketing system, so farmers should check with their cooperatives or plant representatives to see what options are available.

USDA encourages all farmers, ranchers, producers, landowners and rural communities to contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency Service Center to report damages to crops or livestock loss; their local Rural Development office for housing, business or community assistance information and/or their local Natural Resources Conservation Service office for help with debris removal. Producers should also contact their crop insurance agent.  Below are some programs that offer assistance:

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) - NAP provides financial assistance to eligible producers affected by drought, flood, hurricane, or other natural disasters. NAP covers non-insurable crop losses and planting prevented by disasters. Landowners, tenants, or sharecroppers who share in the risk of producing an eligible crop are eligible. Eligible crops include commercial crops and other agricultural commodities produced for food, including livestock feed or fiber for which the catastrophic level of crop insurance is unavailable. Also eligible for NAP coverage are controlled-environment crops (mushroom and floriculture), specialty crops (honey and maple sap), and value loss crops (aquaculture, Christmas trees, ginseng, ornamental nursery, and turf grass sod).

Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE) - SURE was authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill and covers crop revenue losses from quantity or quality deficiencies only in those counties and contiguous counties declared disaster areas by the Agriculture Secretary or in cases where the overall production loss exceeds 50 percent. Approved crop insurance or noninsured crop disaster assistance must be in place to qualify.

Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm Raised Fish (ELAP) – ELAP was authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill to provide emergency relief to producers of livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish and covers losses from disaster such as adverse weather or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires not adequately covered by any other disaster program.

Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) - LIP was authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill to provide assistance to livestock producers for livestock deaths from disaster events, in excess of normal mortality.