The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation says the most significant reform to federal dairy policy in generations must remain in the next U.S. farm bill.
The Dairy Security Act contains a voluntary capping mechanism to avoid drastic and devastating price swings for Wisconsin dairy farmers. The measure remains in the version of the farm bill that the U.S. Senate passed by a 64-35 margin on June 21.
While in Washington D.C. this week to advocate for the farm bill, Wisconsin Farm Bureau leaders were very concerned by attempts to remove the market stabilization component of the Dairy Security Act.
“The intent of the Dairy Security Act would be completely undermined if that were removed,” said Bill Bruins, Wisconsin Farm Bureau President. “That’s because without a market stabilization mechanism and significant caps on proposed margin insurance programs, there will be serious and unintended consequences to government coffers and the U.S. dairy industry.”
“Farmers and lawmakers need to remember: The voluntary market stabilization component of the Dairy Security Act only takes effect when milk prices dip significantly from an over-supply of milk,” Bruins said. “Lawmakers should remain focused on crafting a farm bill that replaces government reliance with empowering farmers with the tools to manage their own risk. Dairy farmers should not expect to participate in a government program without accepting some responsibility for stabilizing prices.”
“Corn and soybean growers have managed their own supply of grain for decades, dairy farmers must take control of their own destiny and do the same,” Bruins said.
“As the farm bill focus now shifts to the U.S. House, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau urges its members to contact Wisconsin’s congressional delegation immediately to express support for the Dairy Security Act within the farm bill,” Bruins said.