Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., has introduced a bill that would require the Secretary of Agriculture to use the price of feed grains, hay, silage and other cash expenses to determine the basic formula price for milk.

The bill, SB 3068, amends the Agricultural Adjustment Act. The change would mean that the actual cost of producing milk — feed, veterinary services, machinery, labor etc. — would be used to determine the basic formula price for milk.

When Specter introduced the bill on Oct. 7, he stated that Pennsylvania has lost, on average, 300 to 500 dairy farms per year because the cost of production is greater than the cost producers receive for the milk they sell. It is estimated that the change would generate a price of $15.80 per hundredweight.

Specter said that he decided to introduce the bill after he held several town meetings across the state in which he continually heard complaints from local dairy producers that they could not sustain their farms at current milk prices.

The Citizens