The expired 2008 Farm Bill could mean payments of up to 10 percent of their monthly milk income.
Beginning this month, dairy farmers made insurance news as they could lose up to 10 percent of their monthly income from milk because Congress allowed the 2008 Farm Bill to expire.
The element affecting the farmers is the Milk Income Loss Contract program.
This program functioned as a safety net for farmers when the national price of milk fell, offering them payments during those times. However, it expired along with the Farm Bill on the last day of September. Although some politicians have been releasing statements to the national media that have claimed that no harm would be done without a Farm Bill in place, dairy farmers are seeing quite a different side of things.
The insurance news of the expiry of the program along with the Farm Bill risks a great deal for milk farmers
According to a news statement by the Jefferson County Farm Bureau president, Michael B. Kiechle, “This is going to hit farmers really hard in the north country.” He went on to explain that “Dairy is one of the few commodities that will get hit immediately by this because we’re on a monthly schedule. And we probably won’t get anything now until the crops go in the ground next spring.”
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Some believe that it is likely that Congress will be passing a Farm Bill extension within the lame duck session that will occur following the election. For now, though, these farmers are struggling with the expense of high feed costs and the low price of milk. In August, 2012, dairy farmers were receiving an average of $18.30, per 100 gallons of milk. The New York Farm Bureau data shows that this insurance news is $5.20 less than the farmers made per 100 gallons at the same time last year.
The payments that the dairy farmers had been receiving at points earlier this year were up to 10 percent of their milk income. This most recent insurance news has shown that the farm bill will not cover those farmers until it is extended. Now, without other options, they will be forced to take the loss, themselves.