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Midwest Producer Groups Oppose Senate Dairy Bill

April 24, 2012
By: Jim Dickrell, Dairy Today Editor

The Boards of Directors of Wisconsin’s Dairy Business Association (DBA) and the Minnesota Milk Producers Association (MMPA) have voted to oppose dairy provisions of the U.S. Senate’s Farm Bill proposal. DBA’s board opposition was unanimous.

Both groups cited the dairy stabilization program contained in the bill, which would require dairy producers who voluntarily sign up for margin insurance protection to curtail production during periods of low margins.
“Supply control policies will cap the success dairy producers could achieve in our industry,” says Laurie Fischer, DBA executive director. “It doesn’t make sense to slow milk production when citizens in this country and around the world are going hungry.”
“The proposed legislation must remove all language referring to ‘milk stabilization,’” says Bob Lefebvre, MMPA executive director. “Analysis of the current Senate language would force Minnesota dairy farmers to cut up to 6% of milk production—Today [sic].”
MMPA also alleges that the premium structure for the margin insurance program “is not actuarially sound at the higher coverage levels…. The premiums are currently structured in a manner that creates extra incentives for certain producers to keep producing more milk in order to receive hefty margins via insurance payments from USDA,” says Lefebvre.
MMPA also says the legislation contains no Federal Milk Market Order reform, does not move the system to a competitive pay price or contain language that would include California in the Federal Order system.

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