NMPF Urges Passage of Farm Bill in Lame Duck Session
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) is urging Congress to make the 2018 farm bill a top priority in the Lame Duck session that begins tomorrow.
Failure to pass the farm bill before January could open up the legislation to prolonged debate and passage as a new Congress is seated, with Democrats in control of the House of Representatives.
“Given the sustained low prices farmers have faced, coupled with uncertainty in agricultural trade policy, it is more important than ever that Congress quickly enact the 2018 Farm Bill before adjourning for the year,” says Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF.
“Both the House and Senate-passed bills make important reforms to dairy policy, making the Margin Protection Program a more effective safety net for producers and expanding access to additional risk management options,” he says. Among those changes include increasing the insurable feed-milk margin from $8 to $9, calculating margins on a monthly basis and reducing premiums for herds producing less than 5 million lb of milk annually.
NMPF is also asking for more aid for dairy farmers impacted by retaliatory tariffs imposed by Mexico and China. To date, USDA has offered only 12¢/cwt on six months of production. NMPF estimates the damage to be more than $1. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue has stated more aid is likely to be offered in December, but not at higher levels.