June 13, 2018

Senate Farm Bill Enhances Dairy Safety Net

 |  By: Mike Opperman

The Senate Farm Bill passed earlier today contains enhancements to the dairy Margin Protection Program, including improving coverage levels and offering greater participation flexibility. The bill increases the maximum coverage margin to $9/cwt, up from $8/cwt in the previous version. The minimum percentage of milk that can be insured is also raised. 

“The leadership of Senators Roberts (R-KS) and Stabenow (D-MI) has led to the creation of a bipartisan Farm Bill that has important provisions for dairy farmers during this prolonged period of low milk prices,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “With the House also set to move on its version of the Farm Bill later this month, we are hoping a final measure will pass Congress by this fall.”

Here are other elements of the Senate bill:

  • Contains conservation provisions that will help producers access technical and financial assistance to carry out conservation practices
  • Allows greater access to risk management tools for dairy processors and producers to address price fluctuations
  • Extends the Dairy Forward Pricing Program to 2023
  • Creates a new incentive program within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to increase fluid milk consumption

Following today’s passage by a margin of 20-1, the bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.