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Baldwin: Dairy Provision in Budget Bill Good for WI Farmers
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 02/09/2018

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin says Wisconsin dairy producers stand to benefit from the bipartisan Senate budget agreement that allocates about $1 billion for the Dairy Margin Protection Program. The Wisconsin Democrat says the final legislation includes significant improvements to dairy programs that will give state producers much-needed, immediate relief as they face difficult dairy market conditions.

"Wisconsin's dairy industry is a key driver of our state's agricultural economy and a core part of our rural communities, but our farmers are facing a very difficult year," Baldwin said in a statement. "This bipartisan plan would fix problems with the old MPP and provide a pathway to new, customizable insurance tools in the future."

Specifically, the proposal would reduce premiums for the MPP by up to 80 percent for small and medium dairy farms, and would waives administrative fees for beginning, veteran and underserved farmers. It also makes the program more responsive to drops in prices and increases in feed costs, and triggers payments more quickly.

Authors of the amendment say the package also provides farmers with an immediate chance to sign-up or change coverage levels for 2018 coverage.

Meanwhile, another provision would remove the $20 million cap on all livestock insurance, including the LGM Program. This will allow USDA to develop a wider variety of additional risk management tools that will be especially important for larger dairy producers and can complement the MPP.

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