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USDA providing emergency assistance to dairy operators in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
November 7, 2017

In the wake of the 2017 hurricanes, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing emergency assistance to dairy operators in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. USDA officials expected signup to begin Oct. 21.
“We’re dispatching additional USDA staff to the island, but we also continue to ramp up material assistance as well,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “Dairy producers need help immediately, and the Trump administration is providing it.”

Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico’s agriculture sector, including dairy operations. Perdue said the Commodity Credit Corp. is providing up to $12 million to enable operators of Puerto Rico’s 253 licensed dairy operations to purchase feed for cattle. The special initiative, applicable only to Puerto Rico, is called the Dairy Assistance Program for Puerto Rico. The program will be administered by the Farm Service Agency, which has offices and staff on the island.
“Dairy operations face additional losses unless they have feed for their remaining cattle,” said Perdue. “This funding will enable them to get the help they need until the situation in Puerto Rico stabilizes.”

Dairy operators have been able to apply to FSA to receive vouchers to purchase an estimated one-month supply of feed. The amount of the voucher is calculated based on 100 percent of estimated feed costs per cow for 30 days. There are an estimated 94,000 dairy cows on the island.

 

Source: The Herald Tribune



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