Bennet: Relief for Colorado's Struggling Dairy Producers On The Way

Administration's Decision to Raise Price Support Levels Comes on Heels of Bennet Push to Provide Immediate Relief for Dairy Producers

Washington, DC - In the face of falling commodity prices and rising concerns about the long-term viability of Colorado's dairy sector, Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, lauded the Administration's decision to provide immediate support for struggling producers by increasing the amount paid for dairy products through the Dairy Product Price Support Program (DPPSP).

The Administration's decision, announced today by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, comes at the continued urging of Bennet and his colleagues, who have pressed the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to provide immediate relief for dairy producers in Colorado and across the country.

"Between falling commodity prices and continued concerns about the economy, Colorado's dairy producers are feeling the pain," said Bennet. "Agriculture is a vital part of Colorado's economy, and we need to do everything we can to make sure the industry remains strong. This support will help Colorado's dairy producers stay in business and on their farms as they weather one of the worst economic crisis in decades."

The increase announced today will raise the price paid for nonfat dry milk from $0.80 per pound to $0.92 per pound, the price paid for cheddar blocks from $1.13 per pound to $1.31 per pound, and the price of cheddar barrels from $1.10 per pound to $1.28 per pound. This increase in the support price will have an immediate effect upon dairy farmers' bottom line. Temporarily raising the price of these dairy products increases the price that dairy farmers receive for their milk.

USDA estimates that today's announcement is expected to increase the all milk price received by dairy producers. The increase will result in the government purchase of an additional 150 million pounds of non-fat dry milk (NDM) and an additional 75 million pounds of cheese.

The most recent letter sent by Bennet to Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and OMB Director Pete Orszag urging the Administration to take steps to provide relief for Colorado dairy farmers is attached to this e-mail.