Dairy most controversial in farm bill

Photo: David Sommerstein

Photo: David Sommerstein

I'm loving Politico's brand new Morning Agriculture column. If you want a quick and easy way to keep up with farm and agriculture policy news, with a deep-politics, inside-the-Beltway focus, this is the read for you, too. The column comes out at 10 in the morning weekdays.

Yesterday's edition focused on the dairy portions of the Farm Bill currently under negotiation between the House and Senate. Along with food stamps, the dairy program is the most controversial part of the bill. After all, House speaker John Boehner once called it "communism", practically a swear word in Washington, right?

A group of House Democrats is urging the conference committee to scrap the Senate's new "dairy market stabilization" plan, which would basically be a way to control milk supply to avoid the spikes and troughs in the milk price. According to Politico's Morning Agriculture:

The lawmakers, in the letter, express fears that the Senate’s dairy market stabilization program would raise milk prices for consumers by limiting supply.“If the price of milk goes up, so does the cost of our nutrition programs like the National School Lunch Program,” the lawmakers say. “Higher prices for milk and dairy products may also decrease the number of participants in the Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) due to increased costs per participant.”

You can also learn about the mighty Potato Lobby, and  gestation crate battles in California and New Jersey. And who knows what tomorrow will bring?

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