A drop in milk exports could mean troubled times ahead for dairy farmers, and Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson says they need new protection against market instability.
"We can't afford to go through another turndown like we had in 2009, without an updated program," the 7th district congressman said while legislation he's calling the Dairy Security Act.
The bill calls for government-subsidized income insurance to milk producers, and for reduced dairy production when excess supply drives down milk prices.
"We're going to lose maybe half our dairy farmers," if they go through that kind of turmoil they experienced in 2009, he said. "That's why I think we have to get this done sooner rather than later."
U.S. demand for milk continues to lag as the recession grinds on," Peterson said. "The export market that has been so strong in Asia appears to be cooling off."