The current Senate version of the Farm Bill contains a provision to expand the reach of the Milk Income Loss Contract program.
The proposed Farm Bill calls for the production cap on the MILC program to be raised from the first 2.4 million pounds to the first 4.15 million pounds of milk produced. That would change the herd size from about 120 cows to a herd with 200 cows. It would also increase the size of the payment — from 34 percent of the difference to 45 percent of the difference when the milk price falls below a preset baseline.
According to Sen. Patrick Leahy’s office, the new cap would cover 90 percent of the nation’s dairy farms reports Newsday.com.
However, the MILC provision is far from a done deal. The full Senate has just taken up debate on the Farm Bill and producers in Western states oppose the MILC program. USDA opposes any increases in the MILC program. And the Bush Administration has threatened to veto the Farm Bill because it doesn’t do enough to cut subsidy programs that could threaten World Trade Organization negotiations. In addition, a watchdog group called Taxpayers for Common Sense calls the program a waste of taxpayers’ money.
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