The Watertown Daily Times reports budget decisions made this year, including cuts to farm subsidies, will take a financial toll on dairy farmers in the following years.

Planned budget cuts would lower the budget baseline for farm programs, limiting the safety net for dairy farmers. The baseline is used by the congressional agriculture committees when writing the 2012 Farm Bill.

The National Milk Producers Federation wants to replace the current safety nets for dairy farmers, the Milk Income Loss Contract and the dairy price support program, with one providing margin insurance. The new programs would soften losses for dairy producers when milk prices are low and feed prices increase and could cost less for the government.

The House GOP budget resolution by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., cuts $177 billion from $763 billion budgeted for agriculture programs, though over 70 percent of the ag program cuts will come from the food stamp program.

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Source: The Watertown Daily Times