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Compromise Reached: Supply Management OUT of Dairy Policy in Farm Bill

Supply Management, at least as it affects dairy policy in this Farm Bill, is gone!

Still yet early, but several credible reports are beginning to emerge that a compromise has been reached on the Dairy Title of the Farm Bill, and that the Supply Management clauses championed by National Milk Producers for several years will NOT be a part of this Farm Bill.

Indeed, NMPF has issued a statement that could be deemed a concession. “Unfortunately, the Speaker’s [John Boehner] threat that he would not allow a vote on a farm bill containing the market stabilization program [aka ‘supply management’] has effectively killed our program within the committee.”

There are several written email reports indicating a compromise has been reached, but the exact nature of that compromise is not yet publically available. There is speculation that the compromise may be a version of the recent MILC-Margin Insurance proposal developed by two Ohio State Dairy economists, but that is yet to be known as a certainty.

The reports also indicate there is great hope now that a Farm Bill will be completed and on the floors of both houses of Congress for a vote next week.

During the course of the Farm Bill process over the past few years, Southeast dairy farm owner/businessmen and producer associations from several states, especially those in a collective group that became known as the Southeast Dairy Coalition, were active in analyzing various policies with the Southeast interest at heart. They determined early on that supply management, particularly as it was written in the NMPF Foundation for the Future/Dairy Security Act, was not beneficial for growth in the Southeast, nor for Southeast Dairy communities, nor for most of the ‘family-sized dairies’ of less than 1,000 cows that make up the bulk of the Eastern Seaboard dairy herd profile.

They found common ground with the Dairy Policy Action Coalition (DPAC) on that premise, as well as an alliance of other industry groups and breed associations, including the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association, and the American Jersey Cattle Club. It is interesting that the ‘no supply management’ position found these dairymen in agreement with the International Dairy Foods Association, a group representing processors.

They have been active in lobbying for the Goodlatte-Scott Amendment, a proposal that offered Margin Insurance without supply management since last spring. However, when reports of the Ohio Compromise, proposed by Newton and Thraen, began to be analyzed last fall, several deemed that policy an acceptable compromise.

Perhaps the best news of all: that this Congress may actually get something done!

More news as it becomes available.

Source: AgriVoice

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