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Dairy Industry Challenges
by Lacy Gray, click here for bio
Program: Washington Ag Today
Date: October 18, 12
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With the expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill dairy producers find themselves facing considerable challenges. One of the programs that expired with the Farm Bill was the Milk Income Loss Contract, a program that compensated dairy producers when milk prices fall below a specified level. Jay Gordon, dairy producer and Executive Director of the Washington State Dairy Federation, comments on the hopes that Congress might still pass the 2012 Farm Bill.
GORDON: We’re optimistic that Congress will do something during Lame Duck because current status is that because the old farm bill expired, that throws us back into a scenario of 1947 or 1949, the default policy, which if Congress doesn’t do anything, means that we would roll back to 1947 farm bill policy which would have parity involved in it.
Just what would that mean for the dairy industry?
GORDON: I don’t think anybody even knows what the heck that would look like or mean other than it puts the price of milk at a government support level of some ridiculous figure like $40 a hundred weight. But I can’t imagine that happening.
The USDA has stated it’s not even sure how it would implement the old 1949 law.
GORDON: That being said, a number of us - lots and lots of coalitions (are) trying to ask Congress “Pass the Farm Bill”. You’ve got a House version that went out of Committee, you’ve got a Senate version - sit down and iron out your differences and get something to the President’s desk. Because most of the conservation programs would go AWOL, a lot of the food stamp programs would go, and all you would be left with is this archaic piece of history that is the basis for the Farm Bill.
I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Ag Information Network.
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