ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – The new Farm Bill was passed by Congress last week. A few hours before the vote, Southern Tier Congressman Tom Reed predicted parts of the bill may help small and mid-sized dairy farmers in his 23rd Congressional District.
The changes concern an insurance program, called the Margin Protection Program, that pays farmers when the cost of producing milk is greater than the market price. That insurance will be made available to smaller farms; with herds of 200 cows and more.
“It’s a lower cost product that our smaller producers will be able to access,” Reed said, “in a more effective and efficient manner to make sure they have that backstop when feed costs go up or the sale price goes down or a combination of the two.”
Reed acknowledged there’s nothing in the bill that can improve the price of milk. Instead, the Republican‘s hopeful renegotiated trade arrangements will improve demand for American-made dairy products.
“One of the biggest things on the demand side, that we could do, again,” he said, “is to get the Canada-Mexico deal passed.”