Special Report

Farm Bureau says dairy needs help now

The issues facing agriculture in Washington and Madison the topics of discussion at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau booth at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. Casey Langan says WFBF President Bill Bruins gave a “white paper” to U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack when he was in the state last week. The paper outlined the organization’s stance on climate change legislation, upgrades of the lock-and-dam system on the Mississippi, broadband availability in rural areas, “But our main thing was dairy, we’re bleeding equity in the dairy industry right now,” says Langan. Farm Bureau is promoting a temporary change in the Milk Income Loss Contract program seeking an increase in the payment rate from 45 percent to 60 percent and to go with that, double the cap on eligible production to nearly 6 million pounds. In the longer term, Langan says they are happy to hear the Secretary is going to take a serious look at reform of the federal milk marketing system.

Regarding climate change legislation, Farm Bureau is concerned about the possible increase in energy costs to farmers the bill might create and Langan says the cap-and-trade carbon credit program that came out of the House may not be enough to offset the increased cost to farmers.

AUDIO: Casey Langan talks about the dairy proposal 4:30

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