In an analysis of dairy supply management policy, American Farm Bureau Chief Economist John Newton says industry coordination to manage the dairy supply “could prove beneficial in the short-run, some reflection should be given on the long-run.” Newton says such consideration could include “considering reforms that would drive further investment and innovation in the U.S. dairy sector as well as expand our market access around the world.” After analyzing previous “supply management-type programs that have been used or proposed in the past,” Newton concludes the programs have performed with “mixed results.” Farm Bureau members, Newton notes, debated the issue through their delegate process before ultimately deciding against support for mandatory supply management. However, the idea of a program administered by the marketplace that “would include coordination among milk processors, cooperatives, and dairy farmers to ultimately balance supply and demand” received a warmer reception. The National Farmers Union has been vocal about the need for supply management policies to address issues of the dairy sector. NFU President Roger Johnson appeared on C-SPAN this weekend, where he said “we’re just producing way too much milk … and a lot of the dairy industry right now, at least in our membership, is arguing that we ought to have some supply management provisions coming into the dairy program.”

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