'One of our life rafts has disappeared,' says NMPF

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Dairy farmers have lost a safety net because the 2008 farm bill expired Sunday and Congress has yet to pass a new Farm Bill, according to the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), which said today that farmers need to continue to voice their dissatisfaction with the lack of action in Washington on farm policy.

Members of the House left Washington last month without completing work on the 2012 Farm Bill. Although Congress is expected to return to Capitol Hill after the November elections, the status of many farm and food programs is in limbo until then, along with the rest of the pending farm bill that contains a new and better safety net for dairy farmers.

“Dairy is among the first sectors in agriculture to feel the impact of Congress’s inability to reach accord on most anything, including a new Farm Bill,” said Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF. “Had the House leadership brought the bipartisan farm bill to the floor, I believe we could have passed a bill containing the Dairy Security Act. Instead, we are in uncharted waters, and one of our life rafts has disappeared.”

Dairy farmers continue to suffer from high feed costs, and the other program intended to serve as a safety net – the dairy product price support program – was created years before feed costs started to escalate, Kozak said.

That’s why NMPF has been urging Congress to pass the Dairy Security Act, which instead of focusing simply on milk prices, takes into account the margin between farm-level milk prices and feed costs.

“We strongly encourage our dairy farmer members to visit with their members of Congress during the pre-election recess to determine a path forward for the 2012 Farm Bill soon after the elections,” Kozak said. “We need a full, five-year bill to be passed in the House, sent to a conference committee, and approved before the end of the year.”

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ed g    
new york  |  October, 01, 2012 at 05:48 PM

As far as the DSA goes I will live without it.

Ky  |  October, 01, 2012 at 06:04 PM

Reason they wanted it passed so bad was big boys had what they wanted. A bill that didn't force the market to pay market price for commodities(milk , cheese, etc). Instead a bill that made farms buy insurance for a milk price they knew would always be under margin. Why would an end user pay full price when they know insurance will keep them in business. The second farce was the supply management. Supply management is what is needed but every farm has to participate. Large corporate farms don't want to because they know they can craft a price and grow while the rest of farms are slowly put out of business.

October, 02, 2012 at 09:09 AM

Why hasn’t the farm bill been passed? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTudILWFj94

Batavia, NY  |  October, 02, 2012 at 12:17 PM

More cow produced fertilizer from Jerry. The farm bill probably would have been passed if not for the dairy supply management he and his cronies wanted to shove down our throat. First they killed the MILC, then they told us we have to accept what they wanted or we would get nothing. Looks like nothing is what it is. But ol Jerry will still get his high 6 or 7 figure income.

MN  |  October, 02, 2012 at 03:58 PM

NMPF has lost all credibility

WI  |  October, 02, 2012 at 11:17 PM

Mr Kozak should have been in the raft that disappeared. There is nothing in the dairy portion of the farm bill that appeals to our dairy farm and we will definitely not sign up for it. I have talked to my senators and congressman and have told them my opposition to the dairy insecurity act.

Ed & Emma    
MA  |  October, 03, 2012 at 04:25 AM

Bozak and his court should be deposed...

Henry Parsons    
MA  |  October, 03, 2012 at 04:35 AM

MILC is the best opportunity for us. It should have been refined, and could have been producer financed to satisfy any who criticized taxpayer funding. I should not have to buy insurance to protect our farm from those who produce more than their share. It is time to send Bozak packing....

CNY  |  October, 03, 2012 at 05:31 AM

Excuse me, Henry. What is "their share"? 500,000#, 1,000,000#, 2,000,000#? Is that per operation, owner, family, worker? Or a certain level of financial return? This is America, perhaps you would be happier in Canada or Europe. Sorry to get off topic. Anyone who wants to protect their margin can use the markets or build a cash/credit reserve. We don't want more subsidies on this farm. Just a way of providing processors with cheap raw materials at the expense of taxpayers and farmers. Our coops are in bed with them.

Ut  |  October, 03, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Amen to skicker

MA  |  October, 03, 2012 at 01:16 PM

Excuse me Skicker, but from down here the Canadian system looks pretty good. I am getting sick and tired of low prices perpetuated by our dairy expansion mentality. The "Free Market" last man man standing trend of Dairy Economics has left me pretty cynical, angry, and worn out. I was once an eternal optimist, but that is no longer the case. After 30 years of milking 100 cows in the same footprint, and caring for them from dawn to dusk, I can only say that my milk check only buys a third of what it used to. while my equity continues to deteriorate. We put up our barn in 1979, and that fall the milk price was $14.99. Many of my friends and neighbors, whose camaraderie I cherished, are no longer milking cows, but have left the business. We are the last in our town, where there was once twelve farms. If you think "God is Great" keep on smiling...

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