February 16, 2017

Budget Will Dictate Dairy Changes in Farm Bill

 |  By: Mike Opperman

Not surprisingly, any change to dairy portions of the next Farm Bill will come down to how much money is available.

U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, appeared on AgriTalk to discuss the upcoming Farm Bill. Here are his comments relating to dairy portions of the upcoming bill:

  • The Dairy Revenue Protection Program: The program offered by the American Farm Bureau Federation, and many other proposed changes, will be evaluated based on their cost. Based on financial analysis, Peterson says “it looks to me like undergoing a major change like going to crop insurance is going to be too expensive.”
  • Revisions to Margin Protection Program (MPP): Peterson said only some “tweaking” will be done to the MPP, perhaps adjusting the base level from $4 to $5 and the upper end from $8 to $9. He says the goal is to make sure there is a program for smaller producers—those who ship less than 4 million pounds annually. “Trying to change the program all the way through gets really expensive,” Peterson says. “If we end up making risk protection too good then big producers will come in and swamp the system.”
  • Changes to regional feed calculations in MPP: Peterson says altering the feed cost calculation to a regional rather than national basis is “a bad idea.” He says “if you want to blow up the program and make sure you’ve got no risk protection, that’s the way to do it.” He says he’s not interested in getting back to a scenario where one region is pitted against another.

See below to hear the Representative Peterson’s full interview on AgriTalk.