Udall, Bennet: Help for Colorado's Struggling Dairy Farmers On The Way

USDA Help Comes On Heels of Udall and Bennet Effort to Provide Immediate Relief for Struggling Dairy Farmers

Earlier this Year, Bennet and Udall Pushed Amendment to Provide Emergency Relief for Dairy Farmers

With Colorado's dairy producers caught between a credit crunch and sinking commodity prices, Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, U.S. Senators for Colorado, today welcomed speedy action by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide $290 million in emergency relief and assistance for struggling dairy farmers in Colorado and across the country. The assistance is part of a $350 million dairy assistance measure Congress approved at the request of Udall and Bennet.

The measure provides $290 million for direct support to dairy farmers. Another $60 million was set aside nationwide to purchase cheese for food banks and nutrition programs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today that it has begun processing payments under the Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Payment program. Farmers can expect to begin receiving payments over the next few weeks.
"These emergency relief funds will help farmers weather this perfect storm of plummeting commodity prices and a tight credit market," Senator Udall said. "We need to use every tool available to support our farmers and ranchers, and I commend the USDA for their swift action in addressing this issue."

"Between sinking prices for their product and a continuing credit crunch, Colorado's dairy industry is struggling and needs some help," said Bennet. "Colorado's dairy farmers are having a tough go right now, and the Administration was right to move swiftly to address the issue with the urgency it deserves."

Dairy producers who participated in a fiscal year 2009 USDA dairy program will not have to sign up for DELAP benefits since USDA already has their milk production records on file. USDA will begin processing payments for these dairy producers on December 17th, and producers can expect to begin receiving payments over the next few weeks.

For additional information and eligibility requirements on the new DELAP program, visit www.fsa.usda.gov.