National Milk pushes for pricing fix, more action at ports
September 15, 2021 By Nicole Heslip Filed Under: Ag transportation, Congress, Dairy, Transportation, USDA
The National Milk Producers Federation says without changes to the Class I price mover, dairy farmers will continue to be impacted by current milk pricing issues. The group is also calling for equitable assistance to help farmers impacted by a formula change made in the 2018 Farm Bill and its unintended ripple effects throughout the pandemic on revenues.
The organization says USDA plans to mitigate last year’s losses somewhat through its Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program, which will reimburse farmers for $350 million of those losses. But they say the initiative distributes payments unevenly. A hearing on dairy price was held Wednesday by a U.S. Senate Ag Committee subcommittee.
Separately, National Milk, along with the U.S. Dairy Export Council and several other organizations, is urging the Biden administration to address the ongoing port crisis.
They say since early in the year, exporters have had difficulties securing shipping containers and a multitude of issues have led to a record 70 percent of containers leaving West Coast ports empty. It’s estimated dairy exporters have lost more than $300 million during the first have of the year through delays and additional port costs.
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