When the 2012 Farm Bill stalled in the US House of Representatives this fall, dairy processors doubled down in their opposition to a key provision—the Dairy Market Stabilization Program, under which the government could act to keep milk prices from falling below certain levels. During the election recess, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) commissioned Harris Interactive to poll Americans on the issue of dairy price supports. The group says the poll shows 81 percent of Americans think individual farmers should have the freedom to decide how much milk they produce and not have a limit set by government policy.
“It’s clear Americans feel strongly that the federal government should stay out of the milk pricing business,” says Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO. “Dairy is a dietary staple and a primary source of essential nutrition to tens of millions of Americans. Artificially raising milk prices by manipulating the market, as proposed in the Farm Bill’s Dairy Security Act, hurts consumers and it hurts taxpayers.”
The previous Farm Bill expired at the end of September. The 2012 version is expected to be re-introduced in the new Congress.