AGRIBUSINESS: Dairy Concerns Reemerge With Farm Bill Uncertainty

With the failure of the U.S. House to pass a farm bill – dairy farmers are once again getting a bit nervous. If Congress doesn’t act and the current nine month extension of the 2008 Farm Bill expires – farm programs will revert to 1949 law.

That measure sets a much higher price for government purchases of cheese, butter and other dairy products than the country has seen in decades. The concern is that milk and other dairy prices will rise if the higher prices kick in at the start of 2014 and consumers will stop buying.

Land O’Lakes Chairman – Wisconsin dairy farmer Pete Kappelman – says that’s not good for anybody because it would destroy demand. Not all dairy farmers agree on what the farm bill dairy program should look like – but they are united in the message they want to send to Congress: failure to pass a farm bill would leave the industry in a cloud of uncertainty.

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