With signs of market improvements and declining input costs suggesting the dairy crisis is easing, the Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) board of directors is helping members bridge the gap to 2010 with a special cash payment totaling $8.8 million.

The Board endorsed the payment during its regular monthly meeting today; checks will be mailed Oct. 22. Equal to 30 cents per hundredweight, the payment will be distributed to more than 10,600 members who marketed their milk through DFA during September 2009.

“We are encouraged by early signs of recovery for the dairy industry, but recognize that our members have a long road ahead as they heal from this difficult year,” says Tom Camerlo, chairman of DFA’s Board of Directors. “Our intent is that this special cash payment will help these dedicated farmers hang on until recovery is in full swing and positive cash flows return.”

This is the second special payment to DFA members in 2009. Combined with two 2008 patronage payments, DFA has directed $37.3 million in cash back to members in recent months to ease the economic toll of the dairy crisis.

This special payment follows a $9.5 million special payment to members in July, which was paid from earnings in the first half of 2009. In addition, this year DFA members received a total of $19 million (a combined 5 cents per cwt.) in patronage payments as a result of 2008 earnings.

Source: Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.