New AFBF report lays out priorities for dairy reform

The working group has planned a conference to discuss issues
calendar icon 28 December 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

A new report from the American Farm Bureau Federation outlines priorities and principles for US dairy reform. Chad Smith has more on the recommendations.

According to Smith, the Farm Bureau Dairy Working Group explored options for strengthening the dairy industry through the 2023 farm bill and modernising the Federal Milk Marketing Order system. Danny Munch, an economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation, said the Working Group had two main tasks to focus on for establishing policy recommendations.

"The first was in direct response to Secretary Vilsack’s call to get the industry in one room and discuss federal order issues, so the working group planned this conference, which led to a lot of different consensus items related to federal orders," said Munch. "Task number two, the group met frequently throughout the year and in-person to review farm bill provisions and how AFBF policy can be improved as 2023 farm bill discussions ramp up."

Munch also talked about recommendations for improving the Federal Milk Marketing Order system.

"At the top of the list, the working group resoundingly supports a switch back to the higher-of class one base price formula, which is currently the average-of the class 3 and 4 price plus 74 cents," he said. "Other priorities include increasing class one differentials, making processing cost surveys of plants mandatory, tightening pooling provisions within different orders, and using modified block voting during hearings from the USDA."

The group also looked into recommendations for tweaking the Dairy Margin Coverage Program.

"The group would like the option to buy up to a $12 margin coverage option, which is currently limited at $9.50 under the cat-one, tier one-level," said Munch. "And the group would also like to allow farmers to update production history a bit more frequently, as well as sales in '19 under supplemental Dairy Margin coverage. These recommendations will be used as part of our broader policy development process."

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