Is This the Best the Senate Agriculture Committee Can Do?

Guest Column

By Arden Tewksbury

Yesterday, again I reviewed the Dairy provisions contained in the US Senate Agriculture Committee’s Farm Bill. I had previously reviewed different versions of their bill; however yesterday after I reviewed the Senate Ag Committee’s Dairy Bill, I shook my head in complete bewilderment as to what I read.

If the full Senate has the audacity to pass these dairy provisions, then most likely we will see the demise of many of our family dairy farms. In my opinion, these dairy provisions that have been reported out of the Senate Ag Committee are the most irresponsible, unethical, ill-conceived and maybe malicious proposals that we have ever witnessed.

It’s no wonder Senator Snowe and Senator Gillibrand have offered an amendment to the Senate Farm Bill (2190) Please, when you make your calls to Washington, urge the Senators to support 2190.

Who were the people that crafted these proposals for the Senate Ag Committee? Where do they hail from? They certainly had very little, if any, experience in dairy farming. I thought (and I guess I thought wrong) there were enough sound-minded senators on the Ag Committee to have prevented these types of dairy proposals to move out of the Ag Committee.

Do these senators realize the cost of production that is being experienced by the majority of dairy farmers? Do they realize the cost of feeding cattle in California has soared to nearly $17.50 per hundred weight (cwt.) (according to the Economic Research Service of the USDA). Some dairy farmers in New Mexico claim their feed costs have nearly doubled in the last few years.

According to the figures reported by the ERS, the national average cost of producing milk in 2011 was $23.40 per cwt. How many senators are aware of this figure? Do the senators realize there are many other substantial costs on the dairy farms besides feed costs?

How many senators have investigated the credit problems that dairy farmers are experiencing in California? Do the senators realize that some hay dealers have been forced to shut down because of the dairy farmers’ inability to pay for their hay? A corn and hay broker in Nebraska said, “I do very well in selling corn, but I’m pulling back from my hay business, because dairy farmers can’t pay for their purchased hay.”

Do the senators realize that a large amount of hay has been exported to places like China, which has caused a shortage of domestic hay, which in turn has spiked the hay prices?

If they were aware of all of these happenings (which I wonder if they are), then how in the world can the Senate Ag Committee completely ignore the sensibility of a new pricing formula that would give the average dairy farmer a fighting chance to cover costs?

Every dairy farmer and every agri-business person must contact their own U.S. senators (as well as other U.S. senators) and urge them to turn down the dairy provisions that have been submitted to the full Senate.

Without any reservations these dairy proposals carry out the intent of the Flannigan report of the early 1970s, and certainly they will enhance the fulfillment of Agenda 21 from the United Nations, which was passed in the early 1990s.

Do the senators and dairy farmers understand the Flannigan report, and everyone must realize the importance of the UN Agenda 21 as it relates to removing dairy farmers from the farms?

Contact your senators today, and then start on other members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Any U.S. senators’ office can be reached by calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202.224.3121. For House members, contact 202.225.3121.

And do it today!

More Bad News for Dairy Farmers

Recent figures released by the USDA clearly illustrate that the pay prices to dairy farmers for June’s produced milk could drop by nearly 40 cents per hundred weight (cwt).  In Federal Order #1 this means the price could hover around $16.39 per cwt. (May was $16.79.)

This price decline will happen despite the soaring increase in grain price.  Corn is heading towards $8.00 per bushel with soybeans over $14.00 per bushel.  Even so, most people appear to look the other way.

May 2012: Class I – $19.10; Class II – $15.19; Class III – $15.23; Class IV – $13.55

June 2012: Class I – $18.49; Class II – $14.32; Class III – $15.63; Class IV – $13.24

Estimated Order I pay price for June $16.39 per cwt.?  National Average Cost of Production:  $21.54 per cwt. Do the math!

Arden Tewksbury, of Meshoppen, Penn., is manager of Pro-Ag; he can be reached at 570-833-5776.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.