NMPF Opposes Extension of Present Farm Bill

10:41AM Jul 30, 2012
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Group says proposed effort would provide no real relief for dairy farmers.

Source: NMPF news release

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) today issued the following statement expressing strong opposition to attempts by the House to extend a version of the current farm bill by one year and reiterating support for the inclusion of Dairy Security Act (DSA) in any final farm bill package:

“The current safety net for dairy farmers is not sufficient in dealing with scenarios like we are currently facing from high feed costs associated with the ongoing drought,” said Jerry Kozak, president and CEO of NMPF. “If we are going to be serious about providing better protection for the nation’s dairy farmers while at the same time providing taxpayer savings from current programs, then we should pass a new farm bill which includes the DSA, which was included in both the Senate-passed farm bill and the farm bill recently passed out of the House Agriculture Committee.

“Under the proposed extension, the Milk Income Loss Contract Program (MILC) would not pay out for the remainder of 2012 or for 2013 while the nation’s dairy farmers are experiencing razor-thin margins. The proposed 2008 farm bill extension does nothing to ensure dairy farmers and their bankers that they will have any safety net to deal with the present and future periods of tight margins and extreme volatility.

“Our current dairy policy is outdated and costs more to taxpayers while the new provisions actually save taxpayer dollars. Dairy farmers have spent more than three years working closely with legislators in crafting comprehensive dairy policy reform so that they have a stronger safety net while at the same time reducing the burden for taxpayers. Any outcome that does not include these carefully crafted provisions would be a failure to lead agriculture in the right direction.

“We urge both the House and the Senate to reject an extension of our failed policies.”