Instead of Supply Management Perdue Suggests Farmers Quit Expanding
Over the weekend, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue visited farmers in Vermont. When pressed on whether or not supply management could be implemented in U.S. dairy, he said not likely in a broad way.
“The dairy industry is wide and broad in the U.S., and I don’t really see a lot of hope for a Canadian-type system,” Perdue said. “I just don’t think the spirit of entrepreneurship and economic liberty in the United States really calls for a supply management system.”
For years, dairy farmers in pockets of the U.S. have pushed the idea that supply management would fix dairy producers’ milk price woes. And in fact, in some regions dairy cooperatives have implemented supply management-type policies often referred to base and excess programs. Instead of focusing on supply management, Perdue said farmers should quit expanding their farms.
“One of the things I caution to dairy farmers is don’t get out there and look at it and say ‘oh, I need to add more cows,’” Perdue continued. “That’s kind of what got us into this predicament here. We’ve got a lot less dairy farms, but we don’t have fewer dairy cows that you’re milking.”