The Senate Appropriations Committee has passed legislation that makes significant updates to the Margin Protection Program for dairy farmers (MPP-Dairy). By: Mary Ellen Shoup
The legislation includes improvements that will lead to lower costs for dairy farmers and better insurance coverage when milk margins are low.
Rather than waiting for the Farm Bill to expire in the fall of next year, the USDA can implement these changes for part of the 2018 calendar year, the Senate Appropriations Committee said.
The Farm Bill expires in the fall 2018 and it is unlikely that the USDA would be able to implement the MPP-Dairy changes until 2020 if dairy farmers have to wait another year, according to the committee.
“Farmers in America’s Dairyland should not be left waiting for action from Washington and this bipartisan legislation takes important steps by making significant changes to the dairy margin program to better support the folks who drive our agricultural economy and rural communities forward,” Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin said.
The Farm Bill has been criticized by the US dairy industry for its budget cuts and leaving farmers without an adequate risk management protection.
“The enhancements to the dairy Margin Protection Program contained in the bill would strengthen the program and help pave the way for additional necessary improvements in the upcoming farm bill,” NMPF president and CEO, Jim Mulhern said.
Source: Dairy Reporter