The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) today commended House passage of the Farm Bill as a key step toward enacting a bipartisan, bicameral bill into law by Sept. 30.
Among the provisions of significance to the U.S. dairy industry are improvements to the dairy safety net. The measure raises the maximum covered margin in the dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) to $9/cwt. and provides increased flexibility in the amount of milk that can be insured. NMPF said the changes will improve the program for dairy producers of all sizes. The bill also includes provisions to improve milk price risk management, reflecting an agreement reached between NMPF and the International Dairy Foods Association on changes to federal milk marketing orders.
“While there are a few issues that will need to be addressed when the House reconciles its version of the Farm Bill with the one the Senate is considering, we are pleased that the process continues to move forward with this vote,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern.
While today’s vote was largely divided along party lines, Mulhern said the bill’s dairy provisions were the product of bipartisan efforts. “We thank Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) for their continuing work to improve dairy risk management programs.”
The House bill also addresses several other NMPF priorities. The conservation title will help producers access technical and financial assistance to carry out multiple conservation practices on their land and water. The bill includes an amendment from Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL) to increase the emphasis on nutrient recovery technologies within the conservation title.
Under the trade title, the Farm Bill authorizes the trade promotion programs that are critical to dairy farmers and their cooperatives. The bill also features helpful provisions intended to increase fluid milk consumption, including an amendment by Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) to expand the varieties of milk offered in schools.