Novakovic’s Take On the Dairy Debate

November 7, 2013 02:06 AM

Source: Cornell University

Andrew Novakovic, agricultural economist, Farm Bill expert and professor of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University, discusses the proposed Dairy Security Act (DSA) and Dairy Freedom Act (DFA).

Novakovic says:

"At long last, the House of Representatives and the Senate are engaged in conference to seek a compromise between the combined House bills HR 2642 and HR 3102 and the Senate bill S 954.

"Among the many differences and contentious agricultural policy issues being considered by the House and Senate conference on the farm bill, dairy policy will be vigorously debated. At issue is whether to offer a new insurance type program or a parallel program, which penalizes producers who have expanded their milk production.

"Although prior voting suggests a slight edge for the Senate's version which includes growth penalties by no means should this be interpreted as the ending point for deliberations about the dairy title, but perhaps it is an indication of the starting point.

"At least one Senator flirted with the idea of introducing a DFA-type amendment the first time the Senate considered its farm bill, in 2012. Insofar as no amendment to this effect was ever introduced in the Senate, there is little reason to believe that a DFA-type Dairy Title has a hidden groundswell of support among the Senate members. On the other hand, it only takes one Representative to flip his vote to have a majority of Representatives to support the Senate version of the Dairy Title, or the DSA framework. It is widely anticipated that the Republican leadership will advocate vigorously for retaining the House (DFA) provisions."

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