Renewed Emphasis Needed on More Effective Safety Net for Dairy Farmers in New Year
Now that the House of Representatives has passed the Senate's fiscal cliff package extending existing farm programs into 2013, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said today it will continue its push in the 113th Congress for a five-year farm bill that includes the Dairy Security Act.
NMPF said that "we need to spend the coming months figuring out how to move farm policy forward. The status quo is not an acceptable outcome, either for farmers or taxpayers. The renewal of current programs doesn't offer dairy farmers a meaningful safety net," said Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF. The fiscal cliff package, among other things, extended the MILC program through Sept. 30th, 2013, and the price support program through Dec. 31st of this year.
Kozak thanked supporters of the Dairy Security Act the new margin insurance-based safety net for dairy farmers who worked diligently into the final hours of 2012 attempting to gain its inclusion in the final legislative fiscal cliff package.
As the Senate and House Agriculture committees begin work next month on a full, five-year farm bill, Kozak said that dairy farmers would reiterate the value of the Dairy Security Act, which eliminates the dairy product price support program, direct payments, and export subsidies, and establishes a voluntary risk management tool for farmers that saves the government money.
Kozak did express satisfaction that the overall fiscal cliff deal prevents the estate tax from returning at punitively high levels in 2013. The package includes a 40% rate on estates valued at more than $5 million, up from the previous 35% rate, but far less than the 55% top rate on $1 million estates that could have become permanent absent the new package.