MO farmer asks for dairy program updates in farm bill

A dairy farmer and nutritionist in northern Missouri says adjustments are needed in the new farm bill to help dairy farmers.

Sean Cornelius tells Brownfield the Class I milk mover was changed in 2018. That has cost dairy farmers a lot of money and he says a fix is needed as milk prices continue to move lower.

“My milk price at home has fallen by about 30% from 2022 to 2023 while input costs really have raised, especially by the time you figure in inflation and interest rates. Margins have been squeezed hard.”

Cornelius says the Dairy Margin Coverage program gave record payments this year and lawmakers should continue to update the program.  

“We need to update production levels for dairy farms, because those levels haven’t changed since the inception of the program,” he says. “Lawmakers should also look into increasing the base coverage level of 2 million pounds up to 5 million pounds of production per farm to more closely reflect the average farm in the U.S. these days.”

Cornelius has a 120-cow dairy in Caldwell County and is on the Missouri Dairy board. Brownfield interviewed Cornelius at a farm bill roundtable in mid-Missouri.

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