Cover photo for Milk Loss Assistance

Milk Loss Assistance (MLA)

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Closed October 16, 2023

The Milk Loss Program (MLP) assistance for eligible dairy operations for milk that was dumped or removed, without compensation, from the commercial milk market due to qualifying weather events and the consequences of those weather events that inhibited delivery or storage of milk (e.g., power outages, impassable roads, infrastructure losses, etc.) during calendar years 2020, 2021 and 2022.


MLP compensates dairy operations for milk dumped or removed without compensation from the commercial milk market due to qualifying disaster events, including droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, floods, derechos, excessive heat, winter storms, freeze (including a polar vortex), and smoke exposure that occurred in the 2020, 2021 and 2022 calendar years. Tornadoes are considered a qualifying disaster event for calendar year 2022 only. 

The milk loss claim period is each calendar month that milk was dumped or removed from the commercial market. Each MLP application covers the loss in a single calendar month. Milk loss that occurs in more than one calendar month due to the same qualifying weather event requires a separate application for each month.   

The days that are eligible for assistance begin on the date the milk was removed or dumped and for concurrent days milk was removed or dumped. Once the dairy operation restarts milk marketing, the dairy operation is ineligible for assistance unless after restarting commercial milk marketing, additional milk is dumped due to the same qualifying disaster event. The duration of yearly claims is limited to 30 days per year for 2020, 2021 and 2022. 


MLP Payment Calculation 

The final MLP payment is determined by factoring the MLP payment calculation by the applicable MLP payment percentage.  

The calculation for determining MLP payment is:  

  • ((Base period per cow average daily milk production x the number of milking cows in a claim period x the number of days milk was removed or dumped in a claim period) ÷ 100) x pay price per hundredweight (cwt.).

For MLP payment calculations, the milk loss base period is the first full month of production before the dumping or removal occurred. 

The MLP payment percentage will be 90% for underserved producers, including socially disadvantaged, beginning, limited resource, and veteran farmers and ranchers and 75% for all other producers.  

Application Instructions

To apply for MLP, producers must submit: 

  • FSA-376, Milk Loss Program Application

  • Milk marketing statement from the:

    • Month prior to the month milk was removed or dumped.

    • Affected month.

  • Detailed written statement of milk removal circumstances, including the weather event type and geographic scope, what transportation limitations occurred and any information on what was done with the removed milk.

  • Any other information required by the regulation.


Contact your local FSA Service Center.


Release Date

September 11, 2023


October 16, 2023

Updated September 18, 2023

Image Credit: Anita Jankovic

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