Farmers continue to bring up two major issues congress needs to address in the 2018 farm bill. Cotton and the dairy Margin Protection Program.
The last farm bill established a new Title 1 program for dairy farmers called the Margin Protection Program or MPP. Last Thursday, Linda Foster representing Dairy Farmers of America, shared several concerns with Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D- MI) at the first Senate Ag Committee farm bill field hearing.
“The final version of the program, which was originally designed by national milk, cut the MPP benefit by 10 percent rendering the program ineffective. That program is not working today. The changes congress made to the original MPP diluted the real cost farmers like myself face every day and diluted the effectiveness of that program.”
Foster owns and operates Foster Dairy. It’s a 170 head milking operation in Fort Scott, Kansas. She says the most important change needed in the MPP is a return of the 10 percent cut.
“Other MPP adjustments include, but are not limited to the feed formula calculation as it relates to milk and feed prices. This is the right program. We don’t need another program. What we need is to have the original cut put back in and with a few tweaks, I think more dairy farmers will participate.”
Foster says additionally, dairy farmers want to use Risk Management Agency programs and Title 1 programs without any restrictions.