Vermont’s congressional delegation is hailing U.S. Senate passage of a five-year farm bill that includes a major revamping of dairy price support programs.
New provisions would allow farmers to purchase insurance that pays out when milk prices drop too low. Each farmer can decide whether to buy the insurance and how much of it to buy.
The new farm bill also contains provisions designed to break a vicious cycle in which milk prices drop, farmers produce more to pay their bills, flooding the market which causes prices to drop further.
The new dairy program approved by the Senate would pay farmers less per unit if they increase production at a time when prices are rapidly falling.
The farm bill now moves to the House.