July 21, 2018

Policy Issues; Food Safety; Trade; Biofuels; and the Ag Economy

Policy Issues: Farm Bill

An update posted last week at the Minnesota Corn Growers Association Online contained several interesting audio clips regarding the 2012 Farm Bill from lawmakers and administration officials that took part in the Minnesota Ag Leadership Conference.

Perspective on the Farm Bill and biofuels from House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) is available here (MP3- 3:57); while a brief overview from Ag Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-Oklahoma) can be heard here, (MP3- 1:42).

And comments from Under Secretary, Farm & Foreign Agricultural Services Jim Miller can be found here (MP3- 1:41).

Meanwhile, the Washington Insider section of DTN reported yesterday (link requires subscription) that, “House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., says he would like to make major changes in the federal support program for the nation’s dairy farmers in the next farm bill. Speaking recently during a dairy farmer event in Minnesota, Peterson said, ‘As chairman of the Agriculture Committee, I was responsible for writing the dairy portion of the current farm bill and I’d be the first to say it isn’t working. We need to get away from the price support system.’

“Peterson did not provide details on how he would modify the current program, but he did indicate that his goals for the industry are not losing current dairy farmers while attracting new young producers into the dairy industry. Developing a support structure that accomplishes both of those goals while keeping dairy prices high enough to allow both groups to make a living from dairying will prove challenging.

“The National Milk Producers Federation already is on record with a proposal to eliminate the current dairy price support and milk income loss contract programs and replace them with a new program that would support producer margins. The vast majority of the nation’s milk supply is produced by the dairy marketing cooperatives that are NMPF members, thus increasing the chances that some type of reform will be included when the next farm law is written.”