National Farmers Union (NFU) sent a letter today on behalf of its dairy producer members pleading for an increase in the Dairy Product Price Support Program (DPPSP) and help with credit issues the industry is facing.
"The dairy crisis has taken a heavy toll on dairy farm families nationwide,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. "More than 2,000 dairies have gone out of business due to low producer prices.”
The letter outlined producer support opportunities U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack may implement without legislative action. One option is a temporary increase in the DPPSP, an action Vilsack took in 2009.
"When the DPPSP was increased in 2009, the price of milk and dairy products immediately responded with an increase,” said Johnson. "For more than a year, dairy producer prices across the country have remained well below the cost of production and something must be done to keep family farms in business.”
Another option included in the NFU letter was to educate lenders that guaranteed loans are available, and encourage them to extend lines of credit to dairy producers.
"NFU is calling upon Secretary Vilsack to utilize his authority to increase dairy support prices to a level that will provide relief to producers and ensure our nation continues to have a viable domestic milk supply,” said Johnson.