The House of Representatives has passed a new Farm Bill by a vote of 251-166. The bill retains all of the significant areas of agreement between the House and Senate dairy titles. It includes a new safety net for dairy farmers in the form of a margin insurance program.
Both the House and Senate dairy titles proposed margin insurance as the new preferred form of farm support for dairy. The conference report gives greater subsidized margin insurance to small dairy farmers and decreases some of subsides offered to the largest dairy farms.
The conference agreement also repeals existing underperforming dairy programs, including the Dairy Product Price Support Program and the Dairy Export Incentive Program (export subsidies), and phases out the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program as the new margin insurance program is implemented.
The conference agreement does not include the Dairy Market Stabilization Program, a new program that was in the Senate bill, but not in the House version. Instead, the conference report authorizes a new “Dairy Product Donation Program” that allows the U.S. Department of Agriculture to buy dairy products for immediate donation when U.S. dairy markets are catastrophically low, as in 2009.
IDFA issued a statement commending the conferees for their hard work and congratulating them on reaching a compromise that represents historic reform of our nation’s dairy policies. For more information, contact Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.