The dairy safety net in the farm bill needs to be fixed. Scott Brown, University of Missouri dairy economist, says the thing he’d like to see is more participation in the safety net, known as the Margin Protection Program. “The last thing I’d like to see is a disaster happen and no one has signed up for the program,” says Brown.
A good-sized number of options have been discussed, including reducing the premiums or allowing dairy farmers to purchase more coverage. Some proposals also include going back to the original feed coefficients in the milk-feed formula. Brown says, “That would make feed more important and possibly increase the likelihood of payments. “
The one thing Brown wants to see discussed more is taking a more regional approach when improving the MPP. In the original discussions on MPP, some had wanted the feed formula to be different in different areas to reflect regional differences. The reason is that some areas of the country grow their own feed while other areas purchase most of their feed.