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U. S. Dairy Farmers Want Subsidies

Adairy group on March 18 asked the Obama administration to respond to a plunge in milk prices by subsidizing U. S. dairy exports and buying dairy products for donation to poor Americans.

The National Milk Producers Federation says the average cost to produce milk in January exceeded the price of milk by 25 per cent.

“In simplest terms, the nation’s dairy farmers are facing an economic disaster,” federation president Jerry Kozak wrote in letters to the pres ident and high-level officials.

The letter suggested activation of the Dairy Export Incentive Program, an export subsidy, “for a short period of time to a limited number of markets.”

It also suggested use of dairy price supports and purchase of dairy products “to provide food to schools and the expanding needy population in our country.”

An Agriculture Department spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

USDA forecasts an all-milk price of $11.55 per 100 lbs. of milk this year, compared to $18.32 in 2008.

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