Statement: Farm Bill Passage Critical to Dairy Industry

August 2, 2012

“Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an extension of disaster programs intended to provide relief to producers experiencing extreme drought conditions. We appreciate this effort.

“Unfortunately the drought is just one of many challenges dairy farmers in the United States face today. Outdated federal dairy policy and increasing feed costs also need to be addressed.

“On behalf of the 15,000 dairy farmer owners of Dairy Farmers of America, we respectfully ask Congress to take swift action to pass a Farm Bill that contains dairy policy provisions outlined in the Dairy Security Act. The bill pending before the House of Representatives represents significant compromise and fiscal discipline, and addresses critical needs of the dairy industry.

“To provide additional relief to dairy producers, we also encourage the Environmental Protection Agency to grant a waiver of the applicable volume of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2012 and 2013. While we believe RFS has helped grow domestic development and use of renewable energy, the proposed renewable fuel volume schedule is too aggressive in today’s economic environment and is diverting too much of our domestically produced corn out of the feed supply. The drought has exacerbated the situation. For all dairy farmers, feed is expensive; for many, it is or may soon become unavailable. This pressure on the corn supply will increase feed prices and put further stress on a struggling livestock community.

“Many dairy farm families need tangible change to continue their operations. We implore Congress and the administration to act swiftly and bring about much-needed relief for dairy farmers who are again feeling the impacts of a highly volatile market.”

John Wilson
Senior Vice President