Dairy program to blame for farm bill hold up

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Updated: Mon, 13 Jan 2014 09:57:42 CST

The clock is ticking and still no farm bill.

We thought it would happen last summer, and then before the New Year.

There's one program partly to blame for keeping this debate open long past its expiration date.

The dairy program, specifically the supply management provision.

It's meant to keep dairy prices stable, but that means regulating the amount of dairy produced.

House Speaker John Boehner likened the program to a "Soviet style" government.

Though dairy producers generally support the program.

We spoke with a local dairy farmer who says it helps both producers and consumers.

"So we wouldn't have to see so many highs and lows, and we'd be much more stable, which makes any business or operation work much easier if we have a stable market." Said Steve Wolfe, Co-owner of Wolfden Dairy in Kearney.

Not all Nebraska farmers are in agreement.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau is saying that while they support the dairy program, they've got some issues with it.

Why?

They say they don't want government to have a big role in agriculture.

"We haven't been overly supportive of the dairy supply management side, because of those same reasons, dairy farmers should be able to produce what they like in the free market system that we have." Said Jordan Dux, Director of National Affairs with the Nebraska Farm Bureau.

One thing most people agree on, a new farm bill needs to be passed, hopefully by the end of the month.

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