AFBF dissects dairy farm bill programs

American Farm Bureau Federation is analyzing dairy program needs ahead of the 2023 Farm Bill.

Economist Danny Munch tells Brownfield nearly three-quarters of dairy farmers in the U.S. are enrolled in the current Dairy Margin Coverage Program.

“In 2021, we saw a rebound after the pandemic occurred and so many farms lost a lot of money,” he says.  “That year the program paid out over $1.1 billion.”

Payments have only triggered in August for some producers this year.  Farmers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, and California are the largest users of the program.

Munch says changes in the next farm bill could include expanded production history, increased margin limits, and how much milk should be covered.

“Some are concerned that the five-million-pound Tier 1 limitation no longer represents the average dairy farm in the United States,” he says.  “Some of the smaller farms like that limitation because they think that the program should be more for preserving smaller farms.”

Munch says their members are also interested in maintaining additional dairy programs funded through the current farm bill including the Dairy Forward Pricing Program, Dairy Indemnity Payment Program, Milk Donation Reimbursement Program, Dairy Donation Program, and Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives.

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