Source: American Dairy Coalition news release
The American Dairy Coalition applauds Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) for urging USDA to provide relief to dairy farmers impacted by negative PPDs.
Gillibrand, who has only recently been named Chair of the Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, Poultry, Local Food Systems, and Food Safety and Security, has proven her commitment to America’s dairy farmers by addressing this important issue. The United States has lost almost 40,000 dairy herds since 2003-proving farmers across the nation were struggling even prior to the pandemic, but demonstrating the significance of the action needed today.
As the press release from Senator Gillibrand’s office explains, prior to the 2018 Farm Bill, Class I milk was calculated using the “higher of” Class III or Class IV price plus the applicable Class I differential. This was changed in the most recent Farm Bill to an averaging method of Class III and Class IV prices plus $0.74.
This change occurred without going through USDA and the official vetting process. The formula adjustment was established to help many processors protect their risks– meanwhile, farmers suddenly found their risk management tools no longer protected them from the severe devaluation of their milk. This change, compounded by government intervention in cheese purchases during the pandemic, has resulted in a catastrophic loss of billions of dollars for dairy farmers.
The American Dairy Coalition urges the USDA to heed the requests in the letter from Senators Gillibrand (D-NH) and Senator Shaheen (D-NH) and to authorize additional relief to dairy farmers from all size dairy operations who suffered significant financial loss in order to ensure the viability of a strong national dairy economy.
To read the full letter click here.