National Farmers Union is asking Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack for an increase in the Dairy Product Price Support Program as well as help with credit issues the dairy industry is facing. NFU President Roger Johnson says the industry crisis has taken a heavy toll on dairy farm families nationwide with more than 2,000 dairies going out of business as a result of low producer prices.
A temporary increase in the Dairy Product Price Support Program is action Vilsack took in 2009. At that time, Johnson says the price of milk and dairy products immediately responded with an increase. NFU says it's an option again for producer support. Another option is to educate lenders that guaranteed loans are available and encourage them to extend lines of credit to dairy producers.
Johnson says dairy producer prices across the country have remained well below the cost of production for more than a year and something must be done to keep family farms in business and ensure the nation continues to have a viable domestic milk supply.