(1/28/14) The federal government could not order cuts in milk production to control supplies, under a compromise farm bill announced yesterday.
The House and Senate agriculture committees announced a five-year package that does away with current price supports, and lets farmers buy insurance which pays out when the gap narrows between their milk price incomes and feed costs. It leaves out the controversial stabilization program that would have ordered cuts in milk production when over-supplies drive down prices. House Speaker John Boehner strongly opposed the program, calling it "Soviet-style." He says the compromise does not have enough reforms but it's quote, "worthy" of the House's support. Some Democrats are complaining about a one-percent, 800-million-dollar annual cut in food stamps contained in the bill. Democrats had settled for half that much, while Republicans originally wanted a cut five times as big. Many farm subsidy programs would continue under the new Farm Bill. It would cost almost 100-billion dollars a year for five years -- a total cut of two-point-three billion a year from the current spending.