A Gloomy Season for Dairy Farmers
This op-ed from the New York Times bemoans the fact that the farm bill has expired with no replacement for the first time in over 60 years. Dairy farmers may have it the worst, what do you think?
Last week began without a farm bill, a legislative lapse of shameful proportions. Since 1949, the bill has always been renewed, but not this year. Even so, most of the 2012 crop is still covered by loans, insurance programs and commodity supports until the end of the year — with one important exception.
That exception is dairy farmers. When the farm bill expired, so did the Milk Income Loss Contract Program, which pays dairy farmers when milk prices, which are always volatile, fall below a set level. The payment is also adjusted to the price of feed, which has been high, thanks to record corn prices, and will be much higher after this year’s nationwide drought.