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October 02, 2014
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Many Wayne County dairy farmers still hurting


“That additional cost, added to the costs that they already have, will really put them deeper in the hole,” Smith said.
“The continued decline in the value of manufactured dairy products, which will result in substantially lower prices to dairy farmers, clearly indicates that dairy farmers deserve a new pricing system to cover their continued increase in operating their farms,” said Arden Tweksbury of ProAg, a tireless advocate before Congress for dairy interests.

Enter U.S. Senator Bob Casey with his new legislation to come to the rescue.

On Wednesday, October 12, Casey introduced the Dairy Advancement Act to ensure Pennsylvania dairy farmers are well positioned to compete in the global dairy market.
“This is a common sense measure that will help Pennsylvania dairy farmers better meet consumer demand while providing farmers with choices to manage risks,” Casey said. “By simplifying the system and rewarding innovation, our farmers will be better prepared to compete in today’s marketplace.”

The new bill would give dairy producers a choice in risk management tools by allowing them to continue to participate in the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program or to receive support for the Livestock Gross Margin-Dairy (LGM-Dairy) program by insuring their revenue margins for future months.
The latter is basically a crop insurance policy and, like any insurance policy, it pays them when losses exceed their profits. Many dairy farmers have spurned this kind of insurance by stating that they don’t want insurance. What they want is a fair price for their product—milk—like any business receives.

An item that appeared in past legislation put forward by Casey and Senator Arlen Specter last year, which included the farmers’ cost of production as determining the new pricing system, is absent in this new legislation.