NMPF Backs House Farm Bill Changes
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) expressed its support of changes to the 2018 Farm Bill as passed by the House Agriculture Committee. But not all groups, such as the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), were as supportive.
The House Ag Committee bill, which passed along strict party lines, raises the maximum coverage level in the Dairy Margin Protection Program to $9 and reduces the minimum percentage of milk that can be covered. The $9 maximum level in effect negates a 10% reduction in the feed formula enacted in the 2014 bill to reduce program costs. Reducing the minimum percentage of milk that can be covered allows larger farms to get at least some Tier I coverage (the first 5 million pounds of production history) and at lower rates.
NMPF also supports allowing dairy farmers to participate in both Dairy MPP and the Livestock Gross Margin-Dairy program, as long as they don’t cover the same production. NMPF is also asking Congress to require USDA to include prices in the MPP feed formula for high-quality alfalfa hay to better reflect the forage that dairy cattle are actually being fed. Read NMPF’s letter to the House ag committee chairman and ranking member.
NSAC, however, took exception to the bill, claiming it eliminates “critical conservation, local food, business development and organic agriculture programs that play key roles in keeping the American farm economy strong.” It says the Ag Committee bill would jettison over 30 years of precedent on commodity subsidy payment limits.