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Scott-Goodlatte Gets One More Chance

by Mike Austin

Despite the pleas from House Ag Committee Chair Frank Lucas and Ranking Committee Member Colin Petersen the House did approve the introduction of some 40 amendments to the House Committee approved Farm Bill. One amendment that will draw special attention from the dairy sector is the Scott- Goodlatte provision which would leave out the market stabilization or supply management provision to the Dairy Security Act.

Twice approved by the House Ag Committee and a part of the Senate passed farm bill the Dairy Security Act creates a voluntary margin insurance program which would issue insurance payment to producers when the difference between the price for milk and feed drop below $4.00 a hundredweight. The cost of the program would be shared by the government and the producer. The market stabilization component would kick in when milk production got out of balance with demand.

It is this provision that dairy organizations like The Dairy Business Association of Wisconsin are upset about saying this allows the government to dictate milk production while penalizing milk deficit states like Wisconsin that are trying to growth their production. That is why they are supporting the Goodlatte amendment

Those comments are from DBA Executive Director Laurie Fischer. And it looks like their position has a strong ally in House Speaker John Boehner.

However, DSA supporters like National Milk Producers Federation feel without the market stabilization provision, we could end up with surplus production and the price tag of the program would end up exceeding the current Milk Income Loss Contract Program. National Milk Spokesperson Chris Galen explains their concerns

This is the last chance for the Goodlatte-Scott amendment which has already been defeated in the House Ag Committee twice. Should one expect a different outcome this time? Supporters feel the vote on the floor will be close and if they do get the votes then it would go to a House Senate Conference Committee. If the provision fails, then the Dairy Security Act stays in tact with the supply management provision.

We should get an answer shortly on how the House decides. Either way some dairy groups and individuals will not be satisfied.