After considering more than 70 amendments, today the Senate approved the passage of the Farm Bill with a 64-35 vote. There was no effort to significantly alter the dairy title, although two dairy policy amendments had been proposed.

The first was an amendment offered by Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

As originally filed, this amendment would have directed the USDA to eliminate the use of end-product price formulas for Class III milk use only in federal orders. The amendment was changed merely to require USDA to study the elimination of end-product price formulas.

The other dairy amendment was offered by Senator Robert Casey (D-PA). It would have provided the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to request more frequent price reporting and to move to a two-class federal order system.

The National Milk Producers Federation hailed the bill’s passage as a “huge and historic step toward making a once-in-a-generation improvement in the safety net for America’s dairy farmers,” according to Jerry Kozak, president and CEO of NMPF.


With Senate passage of a 2012 Farm Bill, the focus now shifts to the House of Representatives, where the House Agriculture Committee is expected to begin marking up its own version July 11. PD

—Compiled from National Milk Producers Federation and International Dairy Foods Association news releases

Click on the links below to read previous Farm Bill coverage:
NMPF and IDFA oppose Senate Farm Bill amendment legalizing national sales of raw milk
Senate Farm Bill passes key procedural vote
U.S. Senate committee’s Farm Bill heads to Senate floor
Farm Bill passes Senate ag committee, dairy industry leaders testify