US Dairy Depression in Need of a Lifeline

US - Carver County Minnesota Farmers Union President Scott Hoese testified before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry today on the devastating economic conditions within the dairy industry.
calendar icon 23 July 2009
clock icon 1 minute read

As a dairy farmer, Hoese said the current situation is unlike any experienced in the past and the width and depth cannot continue to be ignored.

“This crisis has not discriminated based upon herd size or geographic location,” Hoese said. “The rollercoaster market dairy producers have been riding becomes more severe with each passing year, with the highs not lasting long enough to mitigate the lows”.

Hoese told the subcommittee dairy farmers need a lifeline now. “There is no single factor why the dairy industry is in the economic condition it is in and there is no single option to solve this crisis. It will take a suite of options from Congress and the administration to ensure short-term survival and long-term prosperity for America’s dairy farmers,” he said.

Hoese cited three principles agreed to by producers that would strengthen the dairy industry: Return on investment greater than cost of production, plus a profit from the market; Reform of the Federal Milk Marketing Order system; and Restoring competition to the dairy market.

Hoese told the subcommittee that Farmers Union recognizes the need for a fundamental overhaul of our federal dairy policy but unless Congress and the administration extend a lifeline proportional to today’s crisis, there will be little need to overhaul policy because so many producers will be forced out of business.

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