Major dairy producer and processor organizations issued states regarding the dairy title of the House and Senate agreement on a five-year Farm Bill.
Read the Farm Bill conference report here. The Dairy Title is on pages 95-117 of the 949-page document. For a comprehensive summary of the dairy title by Dairy Herd Management, go to "Farm Bill dairy title summarized."
NMPF Statement on Completion of Farm Bill Dairy Title
Jim Mulhern, President and Chief Executive Officer, NMPF:
“Over the past week, NMPF has worked with agriculture leaders in the House and Senate to develop a margin insurance program that will offer dairy farmers an effective safety net in the absence of the market stabilization component featured in our original program.
“That process is now complete. Despite its limitations, we believe the revised program will help address the volatility in farmers’ milk prices, as well as feed costs, and provide appropriate signals to help address supply and demand.
“The program that we have worked to develop establishes a reasonable and responsible national risk management tool that will give farmers the opportunity to insure against catastrophic economic conditions, when milk prices drop, feed prices soar, or the combination. By limiting how much future milk production growth can be insured, the measure creates a disincentive to produce excess milk. The mechanism used is not what we would have preferred, but it will be better than just a stand-alone margin insurance program that lacks any means to disincentivize more milk production during periods of over-supply.
“Importantly, the program doesn’t discriminate against farms of differing sizes, or preferentially treat those in differing regions.
“The revised bill also establishes a system for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) purchase consumer-packaged dairy products during low-margin periods, which will stimulate demand and help dairy farmers when they need it most, and only then.
“We thank the principals of the House-Senate agriculture conference committee for working hard in an attempt to address the needs of dairy producers in this measure. We look forward to the passage of the overall farm bill, and will work diligently with the USDA to ensure the resulting dairy program is as effective and farmer-friendly as possible.”
IDFA Statement on Completion of Farm Bill Dairy Title
Jerry Slominski, IDFA Senior Vice President for Legislative Affairs and Economic Policy
"IDFA commends the Farm Bill conferees for their hard work and we congratulate them on reaching a compromise that represents historic reform of our nation’s dairy policies. The agreement establishes a new margin insurance program for dairy farmers, which was included in both the House and Senate bills, and rejects the effort to have our government limit milk supplies. This is a major step toward moving our dairy industry away from the failed agriculture policies of the past and toward policies of the future that will enable our entire industry to grow and capture new markets.
“The conference report is good news for consumers of dairy products who will not be forced to pay unnecessarily higher prices, and good news for dairy farmers who will receive an effective and efficient safety net to help them through hard times, without our government telling them how much they can produce. The conference report rejects a proposed new regulatory burden on dairy food manufacturers and will allow dairy companies, particularly those that are now exporting about 15% of the milk produced in this country, to continue to grow and create thousands of new jobs.”