Vilsack says dairy programs need quick reform

Vilsack says dairy programs need quick reform

Washington Ag Today September 19, 2011 The year 2009 was a disastrous one for milk producers with high feed costs and low milk prices and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said last week that if federal dairy policy doesn’t change another year like that is bound to be somewhere around the corner.

Vilsack says Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson’s legislation to reform the dairy program is at least a first step to doing something about dairy.

Vilsack: “And my hope is they get something through the House and the Senate can react to it and we can work to massage it.”

And get it into operation quickly because Vilsack says if another crash comes in the dairy industry;

Vilsack: “We will not necessarily be the same position to respond as aggressively as we did in 2009 because the resources are necessarily going to be there because we are faced with reduced and constrained budgets.”

The secretary urges the industry to put away regional concerns in trying to solve the problems.

In a report last week USDA raised its milk production forecast for this year as the dairy herd has been expanding at a more rapid rate than expected. However, the forecast for 2012 was reduced as higher forecast feed prices reduce the growth in milk output per cow.

The latest government data shows that the all wholesale price of milk in Washington during August was $22.50 a hundredweight, well up from the $16.40 of August 2010.

I’m Bob Hoff and that’s Washington Ag Today on Northwest Aginfo Net.



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