During Wednesday’s House Agriculture Committee hearing, University of Minnesota Dairy Economist Marin Bozic questioned the ability of federal milk marketing orders to deliver fair prices to the producer. Bozic said it is very difficult for dairy farmers to switch to a different processor, which influences competition for milk. “If a corn producer wishes to know how different local elevators would pay for corn all they need to do is go online or tune into their local radio station,” testified Bozic. “In contrast, when some dairy producers have asked for milk price benchmarking information, in multiple instances, they faced tacit disapproval or even aggressive legal threats from some dairy processors.” Bozic said the farm bill must also address the long-term implications of dairy policy changes. The drop in fluid milk consumption and the increase in dairy exports were cited as ongoing trends.
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