Applications are now being accepted by dairy farmers for Minnesota’s new Dairy Assistance, Investment and Relief Initiative program.
DAIRI was approved by the legislature last session to provide additional financial assistance to dairy farmers who enroll for five years of coverage in the USDA Farm Service Agency’s Dairy Margin Coverage program.
Gov. Tim Walz noted that dairy farmers have been under financial stress and need state support.
“Our budget secured $8 million for the Dairy Assistance, Investment and Relief Initiative to make sure our farmers can continue doing the work they love and providing for our state,” Walz said in a release.
Applications to the program must be postmarked no later than Oct. 1.
To qualify, farmers must have produced less than 160,000 cwt of milk in 2018 and have signed up for five years of coverage through the DMC program during its current enrollment period between June 17, 2019 and September 20, 2019.
MDA will issue two payments on a rolling basis to eligible producers based on the amount of milk produced in 2018, up to 50,000 cwt. Producers can expect to receive their first payment two to four weeks after applying.
The payment amount is 10 cents per cwt.
MDA provided the following example of an initial payment:
25,000 cwt (2018 production) times $0.10 equals $2,500 payment.
After DMC enrollment ends on Sept. 20, MDA will verify a dairy farm’s five-year DMC enrollment with FSA to ensure eligibility for the second payment. The second payment amount will be based on the available funding and a farm’s 2018 production.
MDA said farms will not be paid for milk produced over 50,000 cwt.
Farmers must submit an application, a W9, a copy of their DMC enrollment form and a statement from their processor(s) detailing the amount of milk produced in 2018 to enroll.
Producers may receive a second payment this fall after the application period has ended, depending on remaining available funds.
Applications must be postmarked no later than Oct. 1. Late applications will not be accepted.
The application form and additional information are available online.