Monsanto Dairy Business supports dairy farmers' freedom to choose to use proven technologies that can help their operations be more efficient and profitable.
However, for some producers that choice has been taken away. Their co-op or processor has said it wants milk that is produced without rBST.
"We believe dairy producers should have the freedom to choose how best to manage their operations and determine what production technologies provide the best return," said Kevin Holloway, president of Monsanto Dairy Business.
With that goal in mind, Monsanto has created a producer decision guide called "Dairying Equals Choices." The guide outlines important questions for dairy producers to ask if approached with requests to supply milk from cows not supplemented with POSILAC® bovine somatotropin. It also helps determine the lost opportunity cost of not using POSILAC so that producers can arm themselves with information in order to better negotiate a premium for supplying specialty milk.
“In a fair market, we believe if a producer is asked to give up a valuable technology that he should be compensated for it,” says Holloway. "The buyers of specialized milk should pay a premium if they want to limit dairy producers' choice to use an FDA-approved technology such as POSILAC. At a minimum, that premium should be guaranteed to compensate for lost profitability, handling and verification costs of specialty milk."
The fundamental issue is about producer choice and the ability to use a variety of safe and valuable technologies. Requests for specialty milk and other foods have not stopped at targeting a single product. And every time producers lose the right to use safe, beneficial agricultural productions technologies, such as FDA-approved hormones or antibiotics, it comes at a cost to American farmers, he says. Dairy producers who do not currently use POSILAC still risk losing the value of other technologies if their freedom to choose technology is limited without fair compensation.
"As dairy farmers have more opportunities to serve diverse and growing markets for their products, it is important that they have the freedom to use approved technologies to maximize efficiency in production," Holloway said. "Only through choice and fair compensation can consumer demand signals be effectively passed up and down the dairy food chain."
Dairy producers who would like to receive a copy of "Dairying Equals Choices" can contact a Monsanto Dairy Business Representative or call the
Monsanto Dairy Business