Compromises Reached in House Farm Bill 

Compromises Reached in House Farm Bill

Processor and producer representatives in Washington both seemed happy with the 2007 farm bill approved by the House Agriculture Committee late last month.

IDFA commended the Committee for preserving the subcommittee recommendations includes several key reform ideas, such as forward contracting and a commission to improve federal milk pricing policies.

IDFA’s Pres./CEO Connie Tipton said Subcommittee Chairman Leonard Boswell (D-IA) was key in getting support for compromises reached by producers and processors.

“Rep. Boswell did an excellent job of assuring that the recommendations in the well-crafted and balanced dairy title were considered and accepted,” said Tipton. “We are pleased to have more risk management tools available for producers and processors, and a commission to review the Federal Milk Marketing Order programs as part of this compromise.”

Meanwhile, National Milk Producer Federation CEO  Jerry Kozak says the House bill  “improves on the status quo while not forcing farmers to confront a radical departure from past policies.”

“This bill really represents a leap forward in dairy policy from where we are today,” Kozak said. “We appreciate the leadership of Chairman Peterson and Ranking Republican leader Bob Goodlatte in helping shepherd this bill through the committee.”

NMPF says the House farm bill contains significant revisions in the dairy price support program that it had pushed for-including a measure to shift the program from one that supports milk prices, to one that supports specific prices for dairy commodities. The bill also extends the current Milk Income Loss Contract program.

IDFA expressed disappointment with the opposition to forward contracting from Reps. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) and Jim Costa (D-CA), noting that California is outside the federal order system and is unaffected by these forward contracting provisions.