Skip to comments.To Minnesota Station [The farm bill is stalled over Soviet-style price controls on milk.]
Posted on 01/14/2014 9:53:05 AM PST by 1rudeboy
The political soap opera over the farm bill is wrapping up, albeit with little substantive reform, though the drama wouldn't be complete without one last meltdown. Some of the House-Senate negotiators are demanding new Soviet-style price controls for the U.S. milk industry, which could show up in your next grocery bill.
A farm deal was expected last week but the conference committee stalled over a plan from Minnesota Democrat Collin Peterson to replace something called the Milk Income Loss Contract. Dairy producers are currently paid a direct cash subsidy every month in which milk prices fall below a target level, but each farm is limited to reimbursement for the milk production of roughly 150 cows.
Mr. Peterson, the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee whose state is home to 470,000 cows, wants to create an insurance program without a cap so Big Milk can get in on the action too.
Milk central command would be the worst dispensation yet for the dairy cartel. The feds already buy one of every five gallons, and agriculture laws already make it illegal for processors to sell milk below a regionally dictated price. Then there's a quota on dairy imports and prohibitive tariffs. In 2005 the OECD estimated that consumers pay a 26% "milk tax" as a result of all this central planning.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
The milk subsidy actually increases milk prices. It’s the government picking dairy farms as high-profit winners rather than letting the market sort it out.
The taxpayers should not be subsidizing any business be it electric cars, steel or milk. Anything the government does is paid for by the taxpayer.
I thought only Pennsylvania and perhaps Belarus were still doing this.
Today, dairy production is much more concentrated and there are scores of substitutes for milk products. I'd compromise and make it a 50 cow limit per herd.
Yeah, I know the optimal solution, in the long run, would be to let the market sort it out. But the fact of the matter is that cattle herds, be it dairy or beef, simply cannot respond to market over/under supply issues as quickly as someone raising hogs or turkeys.
Unless the government were to get out of the way entirely (a pipe dream), some sort of stabilizing mechanism is necessary, though certainly not to the extent that the dairy lobby has in place now. The National Cattleman's Association, which represents mostly beef ranchers, has much better policies in place which seek to reduce, not increase, the government role in the sector.
I see a lot of folks buying almond and soy milk at the stores.. It’s nice to have alternatives.. or a cow in the backyard .. leave it to Congre$$ to screw everyone equally in the end.. and the herd to move on..
We just went milk free.
Meanwhile, I’m in a band where all the other members are a family that grows all their own food and sells the raw milk from their cows. How do they do that, legally, you ask? Simple. They lease “shares” of their cows so that a person that hyas leased 1/10th of the cow gets 1/10 of the milk it produces during the term of the lease.
The lengths people have to go to under a fascist regime...
Dairy farmers around here would be surprised to hear themselves as “high profit winners.” At the same time milk prices went up, feed prices doubled. Other inputs have also gone up in price (IE anything and everything hauled in or out by truck because of fuel prices; sawdust for bedding less available since the Recession closed lots of furniture and cabinet factories ...)
DH and I milked cows until 2003. We figure the margins now are just as tight ... only the numbers have changed.
When we sold out we were in the Milk Income Loss program for a year or so. We were just circling the drain. It cost us about a dollar a gallon to produce but we were being paid 75 cents per gallon.
If it looked like we could make a living again milking cows I think we’d give it a shot. But it doesn’t look that good.
Oh, one more thing ... a lot of the “family farms” have gone from 100 or so cows to 300 or 500. So maybe the herd-size caps needed to be tweaked.
I suppose you could have a herd of 300 with Mom owning 100 head, Dad owning 100 and Son owning 100 to get around the caps.
Not that anyone would do that ...
Just trying to keep up with Big Cookie, man ...
Over here, in upstate NY, it seems as if all the dairy farmers are selling their herds [to Texas -- cattle in demand because of the drought I've been told] and planting corn.
From one subsidy to another it seems to the outsider. Please don't take that wrong, I'm a great admirer of farmers. Just think they have to find a crop that doesn't require government regulations to make it profitable.
Soy milk is no substitute for whole milk.