Dairy producers who suffered losses in 2005 from hurricanes Katrina, Ophelia, Wilma or Rita can now sign up for the Dairy Disaster Assistance Payment Program (DDAP-II).

To be eligible, a dairy producer must have suffered dairy production and spoilage losses from August through December 2005 due to the 2005 hurricanes or related conditions, and suffered the losses in an eligible DDAP-II county.

The $17 million DDAP-II is authorized by the Emergency Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2006.

"Dairy producers suffered production losses from herd deaths, closed processing plants and damaged bulk tanks that caused milk to spoil, all due to the 2005 hurricanes," said Teresa Lasseter, administrator of USDA's Farm Service Agency. "The dairy disaster program funding will help producers recover from these devastating losses."

Eligible DDAP-II counties are those declared a natural disaster by Secretary Johanns or designated a major disaster or emergency by President Bush for 2005 calendar year hurricanes Katrina, Ophelia, Wilma or Rita. Counties contiguous to an approved county are also eligible. Counties declared disaster areas by Hurricane Dennis are ineligible for DDAP-II because the legislation did not provide for disaster losses resulting from Hurricane Dennis. A list of eligible counties can be found in the DDAP-II fact sheet located online at: CLICK HERE.

 FSA will determine dairy production and spoilage losses using the established history of the operation's commercial production marketed and production dumped or not marketed during the applicable claim period.

 DDAP-II participants will receive immediate payments to help pay operating expenses and meet other financial obligations. An eligible dairy operation's payment is calculated by multiplying the payment rate, which varies by state, by the operation's total eligible losses.

 Dairy producers can apply for the program at local FSA offices. Applications are available at FSA offices and online at: http://www.sc.egov.usda.gov.

 For more information about USDA disaster programs, visit http://www.fsa.usda.govonline and click on Disaster Assistance Programs.

Farm Service Agency