The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) thanked the Senate for quickly passing a farm bill that includes needed reforms to dairy programs that will boost producer incomes in a tough economic environment. NMPF urged the U.S. House of Representatives to immediately approve the bill.
“The farm bill’s bipartisan support in the Senate is a vote of confidence in U.S. agriculture, and it’s a reason for hope among dairy producers,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “As dairy struggles with low prices and disrupted exports, the Senate has stepped up with improved programs that will help producers. We urge the House to pass this legislation and send it to the White House.”
Mulhern congratulated Sens. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) for their leadership in building consensus for the bill. NMPF also thanked Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who served on the conference committee and has long played a role in shaping dairy policy, as well as conferee Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for their advocacy. Additionally, NMPF commends Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Tina Smith (D-MN) for their work to strengthen the bill for dairy farmers.
The farm bill features several important policy reforms for dairy, including:
- Affordable higher coverage levels in the Dairy Margin Coverage program (DMC) (renamed from the Margin Protection Program) will permit all dairy producers to insure margins above $8.00 on their Tier 1 (first five million pounds) of production history.
- The bill will reduce the cost of $5.00 margin coverage by roughly 88 percent. This aids larger producers and is critically important in states where margins fall more quickly.
- Greater flexibility to allow producers of all sizes to access Tier 1 premium rates.
Expanded access to additional risk management tools, allowing producers to participate in both the DMC and the Livestock Gross Margin insurance program.