A compromise among House and Senate agriculture leaders on a farm bill extension might be little more than kicking the milk can down the road. The compromise has been worked out in the face of a possible doubling of milk prices without Congressional action. Without a farm bill, milk prices would revert back to a price support program adopted in 1949 that would jump a gallon of milk into the seven to eight-dollar range. However, the fiscal cliff bill approved last night by the House and sent to the President avoids that price jump by extending the 2008 farm bill for another year.
Executive director Dave Drennan with the Missouri Dairy Association says the continued haggling in Washington is a double whammy for milk producers still devastated by the drought.
The bill approved last night delays creation of a new farm bill by a year. Drennan says the problem is with conservatives who want to overhaul the 75-80 % of the bill that covers all of the feeding programs such as food stamps, school lunches, and WIC
And he says those overhauls would be bad for dairy farmers and other farmers who provide the food for those programs.
We spoke with Dave Drennan during the holidays: