NMPF analyzes $5 billion in dairy federal support
The National Milk Producers Federation’s chief economist estimates dairy farmers have received nearly $5 billion in federal support in 2020.
Peter Vitaliano says more than 80 percent of direct dairy farmer payments were made through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. He estimates government dairy purchases from June through October used about 6.5 percent of the milk supply and was the main driver for improved farm gate prices.
“With an impact of raising the milk price during that period by about $3.30 per hundredweight, with a total impact on dairy farmer income of a little over $3 billion.”
Vitaliano doesn’t expect farmers to receive more federal support in 2021, but says, “The ongoing other purchases under Section 32 and other authorities—that’s been pretty steady, and I would expect that’s going to continue.”
He says that support totaled $600 million for the industry while the Dairy Margin Coverage Program paid $200 million to farmers which is also expected to serve as a safety net in the year ahead.