AFBF supports 57 senators and House members who sent a letter last week (July 25-July30, 2016) to the Agriculture Department asking for assistance for dairy farmers struggling with declining milk prices. The lawmakers asked USDA to use its existing authorities to expand and maintain U.S. domestic markets, encourage the domestic consumption of dairy products and help dairy farmers through the financial crisis they are experiencing.
Farm milk prices have dropped 40 percent since 2014. This is due to a number of factors, including an increase in U.S. production levels, changes in the European Union’s regulation of milk production and a drop in the export market. In vastly different dairy market regions of the U.S., farmers are facing similar margin shortfalls while still adjusting to changes in federal dairy support programs from the 2014 farm bill. The secretary of agriculture has the authority, under the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act, to expand and maintain U.S. domestic markets. By taking such action, USDA can make an immediate market injection to directly and equally support struggling dairy farmers nationwide