Impact of Feed Availability Reinforces Need for Dairy Policy Reform

September 14, 2011


 The House Agriculture Committee met today to examine the issue of feed availability and its effect on the livestock and poultry industries. The following statement was submitted by Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) on behalf of its dairy farmer owners.

“U.S. dairy producers were hit hard in 2009 and 2010 with extreme volatility in milk and feed prices, which forced many producers from the industry while others lost a generation worth of equity on their farms. As we look at December futures for both corn and Class III milk, we see a tightening of margins that will further compound the stress of a few years ago.

“Current U.S. dairy policy does not provide producers the tools necessary to manage through extreme volatility. Congress must embrace dairy policy reform immediately. DFA is supportive of the effort being spearheaded by Reps. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), which is modeled after the National Milk Producer Federation’s Foundation for the Future. This program, comprised of several parts, offers producers margin insurance and gives them the tools they need to manage their own future.

“Additionally, we cannot ignore the increased demand on our domestic corn supply. Greater pressure from ethanol production, combined with continued exports and other uses is making corn a rare and expensive commodity. Those who survived 2009 and 2010 are now facing feed shortages and more tough decisions on the dairy farm.”

John Wilson
Senior Vice President