Agriculture department reopens enrollment for dairy program

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has reopened enrollment in its Dairy Assistance, Investment and Relief Initiative (DAIRI) program for eligible milk producers through the end of the year.

Producers who have locked in five years of coverage through the USDA Farm Service Agency’s Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program and who have not already successfully enrolled in the DAIRI program can apply.

The state ag department has already issued $3.4 million to about 1,800 producers, representing more than 1,550 farms in Minnesota, through the program in its first round of payments.

In order to qualify for the program, farmers must have produced less than 160,000 cwt (hundredweight) of milk in 2018. They will be paid based on production levels, up to 50,000 cwt of milk produced in 2018.

An application form, an IRS Form W-9, a copy of DMC enrollment form, and a statement from their processor(s) detailing the amount of milk produced in 2018 are required to complete an application. All materials must be postmarked by Dec. 31.

Producers who have received their first check do not need to take any action; they will automatically receive a second payment. However, producers who submitted incomplete applications and have not received a check must return any requested information by Tuesday to be eligible for the second payment.

For more information and the application form, visit the DAIRI program page of the MDA website, www.mda.state.mn.us/mda-dairy-assistance-program-enrollment-reopened