By: Bob Meyer
Seven dairy producer groups have sent a letter to all of the farm bill conferees expressing their opposition to the supply management provision of the Dairy Security Act. The groups urge the conference committee to “follow the lead of the House of Representatives which rejected this controversial new dairy program to impose milk quotas on dairy farmers by a more than two-to-one margin.” The letter goes on to say for dairy farmers to take advantage of margin insurance, “they should not be required to participate in a program that would have the government directly interfere in the milk supply.” They contend the potential control on milk production will discourage investment in the dairy industry and hurt exports.
The letter is from the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association, California Dairies Incorporated, National All Jersey, Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative, Dairy Policy Action Coalition, Northeast Dairy Producers Association and the Kentucky Dairy Development Council.
A copy of the letter follows:
All Senate and House Farm Bill Conference Committee Members
Dairy Business Association, Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative, Dairy Policy Action Coalition, National All-Jersey Inc., California Dairies Inc., Northeast Dairy Producers Association Inc., Kentucky Dairy Development Council
Dear Farm Bill Conferee:
As dairy producers and businesses working in the dairy industry, we ask that you support the dairy title as amended in the House version of the Farm Bill, which excludes the Dairy Market Stabilization Program, also known as Supply Management.
One of the key differences between the Senate and House Farm Bills is the inclusion in the Senate bill of a new government program to limit the milk supply, known as the Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP). The House voted overwhelmingly (291-135) for the Goodlatte-Scott amendment which removed the divisive dairy Supply Management proposal from the bill while retaining an effective and expanded revenue insurance program for dairy producers. The Goodlatte-Scott amendment was approved by an overwhelming bipartisan margin, and ignoring this fact will risk the failure of the entire farm bill.
The Senate bill would require dairy farmers enrolled in a margin insurance program to periodically limit the amount of milk our farms can sell.
We believe this convoluted system is the wrong approach. Dairy farmers who take advantage of the margin insurance should not be required to participate in a program that would have the government directly interfere in the milk supply. Limiting the milk supply will discourage further investment and growth in our industry.
We ask you to please work with your fellow conferees to ensure that the final Farm Bill does not include the DMSP, but rather adopts the House dairy provisions, which provides a safety net for dairy farmers without Supply Management. A strong majority of the House of Representatives believes this is the right approach for dairy policy and we hope you will join their leadership in seeing this through to the finish line.
Thank you in advance for your careful consideration of how the Senate’s Farm Bill dairy policy will negatively impact dairy farms.
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