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Senate Republican Farm Bill Framework Includes Dairy Gains

July 8, 2024

Dairy policy priorities continue to be reflected in Congressional farm bill plans, with Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Sen. John Boozman, R-AR, releasing Senate Republicans’ farm bill framework on June 11.

Like the framework previously issued by Senate Democrats and the bill passed by the House Agriculture Committee in May, Boozman’s framework includes several important dairy policy priorities. It also marks another key step toward enacting a farm bill.

Boozman’s plan provides “a strong farm bill framework that marks another important step toward enacting a bipartisan farm bill into law this year,” said NMPF President & CEO Gregg Doud in a statement.

The Senate Republican framework includes positive dairy provisions, such as:

  • Extending the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) Program through 2029; updating production history for participating dairies to be based on the highest production year of 2021, 2022, or 2023; and extending the ability for producers to receive a 25% premium discount for locking in five years of coverage
  • Requiring USDA to conduct mandatory plant cost studies every two years to provide better data to inform future make allowance conversations, a key component of NMPF’s Federal Milk Marketing Order modernization proposal
  • Supporting voluntary, producer-led conservation programs, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program
  • Boosting funding for critical dairy trade promotion programs and protecting the use of common food names worldwide
  • Supporting the bipartisan, House-passed Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act to reverse the underconsumption of nutritious milk in schools;
  • Increasing funding for animal health initiatives and programs; and
  • Advancing the bipartisan Innovative FEED Act to expedite and modernize approval of animal feed ingredients that have a proven track record of reducing enteric methane emissions.

The current farm bill officially expires on Sept. 30, but most core programs run until Dec. 31, giving the congressional agriculture committees until the end of the calendar year to complete work on a new farm bill before a new Congress is sworn in.