Dairy groups ask Senate to include Dairy Security Act in Farm Bill

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2012 - With the Senate Agriculture Committee expected to begin drafting a Farm Bill next week, 29 dairy and farm organizations signed a letter sent yesterday to the Committee leaders urging inclusion of the Dairy Security Act in the upcoming legislation.

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The letter asserts that dairy farmers have “suffered financially because of extreme margin volatility - dramatic swings in the difference between milk prices and feed costs. The two programs that make up our federal dairy safety net - the Dairy Product Price Support Program and Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program - focus directly on milk prices. What U.S. dairy families need is a policy package focused on the margins between milk prices and feed costs.”

The organizations claim the Dairy Security Act will help farm families insure against catastrophically-low margins, such as those experienced by dairy families in 2009.

“It also helps to moderate the severity of the volatility in milk prices by maintaining better market balance, which benefits consumers as well as farmers, all while relying on less government spending than our current programs - a key for any legislation in this era of necessary budgetary restraint,” according to the letter.

The group of dairy and farm organizations said the Dairy Security Act provides flexibility and options for each individual dairy, including the choice for a dairy to exempt itself from its programs. 

“The authors of the DSA recognized that a one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn't work in our modern industry and have cooperated fully with our organizations in making further improvements to broaden the support for the dairy reform package,” according to the letter. 

The letter closes by asserting that there exists “a level of unity and support for the Dairy Security Act that is unprecedented for our industry.”

The following groups signed onto the letter: Agri-Mark, Alabama Dairy Producers, Associated Milk Producers Inc., Dairy Farmers of America, Dairy Farmers Working Together, Dairy Producers of New Mexico, Dairy Producers of Utah, Dairylea Cooperative Inc., Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, Holstein Association USA, Inc., Idaho Dairyman's Association, Iowa State Dairy Association, Land O'Lakes, Maryland Dairy Industry Association, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Midwest Dairy Coalition, Milk Producers Council, Missouri Dairy Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Farmers Organization, National Milk Producers Federation, Northwest Dairy Association/Darigold, Oregon Dairy Farmers Association, South Carolina Dairy Association, South Dakota Dairy Producers, St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, United Dairymen of Arizona, Upstate Niagara  Cooperative, Inc., and Washington State Dairy Federation.




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