USDA Moves Milk Revenue Insurance Program Forward
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Federal Crop Insurance Corporation passed a resolution late last month that advances a proposed milk revenue insurance program by recommending it to an expert panel for further review. The program, which IDFA supports, was recently proposed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture specifically to protect dairy producers against fluctuations in revenue. USDA will review the panel's recommendations and expects to make a decision on whether to approve the new program later this summer.
Earlier this year, IDFA submitted a letter in support of this program to USDA.
"This proposal represents a good example of a producer safety net that provides financial support to farmers without causing market distortion or adversely impacting other sectors of the industry," said Chip Kunde, IDFA senior vice president, in the letter.
The action by the Crop Insurance Corporation followed testimony submitted by Russell Redding, executive deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, to the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee on April 24. In his testimony on Pennsylvania's Farm Bill proposals, Redding stressed the benefits of the milk revenue insurance program as an important risk tool for dairy farmers. He explained that the program would be very similar to what crop producers use today and could be coupled with traditional crop insurance programs for dairy farmers to further protect their feed crops.
If approved by USDA, a pilot program would be offered to dairy producers in 12 northeastern states through private insurance carriers.
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Posted May 7, 2007