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Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program for Dairy Farmers

By Megan Roberts and Nathan Hulinsky, Extension educators

The Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program (PMVAP) is a direct payment administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The program compensates qualifying dairy farmers for losses from volatile milk prices from July to December 2020 due to disrupted markets during the pandemic and subsequent federal policies.

Cows looking at camera
Unlike most other pandemic assistance programs for farmers (e.g. CFAP 1&2), PMVAP does not have a farmer-initiated sign-up period nor is it administered by Farm Service Agency. USDA’s AMS will make payments via agreements with independent milk handlers and cooperatives. Handlers and cooperatives that enter into agreement with USDA will then be responsible for making payments to their qualifying dairy farm producers.  Dairy farmers will be contacted by the participating milk handler or cooperative. The PMVAP payments, if made to a dairy farmer by their milk handler or coop, are a direct government payment from USDA. Therefore, farmers must meet USDA program eligibility requirements and will be issued an IRS 1099-G form. In other words, PMVAP is taxable governmental income.

The USDA has allocated approximately $350 million nationwide for this program. 

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