Mercaris exists because we believe in the power of market data and analysis to support the greater good of the organic community including the small and medium producers who are its foundation.

Due to pandemic-related economic difficulties endured by organic dairy producers, the USDA recently approved $100 million in financial assistance targeted at organic dairy producers. This marks the first time that USDA financial assistance has targeted organic producers, recognizing that the economic pressures they face are unique from their conventional counterparts. Together with a small working group of Organic Trade Association members, Mercaris’ data was vital to the effort of proving the need for assistance to U.S. Congress members and the USDA.

“Because of the work of the Organic Trade Association and its organic dairy members, the plight of small and medium organic dairies was brought into the spotlight for Congress and the USDA,” says Mercaris CEO Kellee James. “Mercaris, as a third-party data service, is proud to provide rigorous economic analysis at a moment’s notice on industry insights such as milk pay price, feed price, and herd size that verified the scope of this issue.”

Assistance for organic dairy producers will be available through two separate programs - the Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program or the Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program - depending on the specific struggles endured by each operation.

The intention is to help smaller organic dairy farms that have faced a unique set of challenges and higher costs, compounded by the ongoing pandemic and drought conditions across the country. Many of these organic dairy operations are now struggling to stay in business and FSA plans to provide payments to cover a portion of their estimated marketing costs for 2023. Payments are allowable up to $40,000.00 and will be capped at the first five million pounds of anticipated production.

“There’s a saying that if you stay ready, you never have to get ready,” says James. “Our team here at Mercaris stays ready so that the organic sector can respond fast through the support of the entire supply chain. Whether events are climate-related, market-related, or pandemic-related, good data is key and we welcome you to join Mercaris in staying vigilant!”

Details about the Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program will be available and updated at as more details are released in a Notice of Funds Availability later this year.

For more information, please view the full release from the USDA.