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Thursday - February 22, 2018 12:17 am

Wisconsin tweaks dairy insurance program, as milk demand dwindles

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The problem for dairy farmers in the region is there's too much milk on the market.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin was in La Crosse this week talking to those farmers.

Wisconsin Farmers Union Darin Von Ruden said farmers should keep track of what products are actually in demand.

"We need to take responsibility for our own actions," Von Ruden said. "If there isn't a market for food we shouldn't be producing it. There's just so many different things that we need to do as a country.

Baldwin is promoting increased funding for the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, which will help support farmers hit hard by falling milk prices.

The program allows farmers to buy insurance that pays out when the cost to produce milk becomes too close to milk’s selling price.

Baldwin argued the program is supposed to help struggling farmers, but hasn't always been effective.

"Those farmers, who did participate, often didn't get any payout because of the way it was structured and the formulas were created," Baldwin said.

The senator says she helped put an extra $1 billion into the program so smaller dairy farms might be able to apply for relief when the market is bad.

Last modified on Thursday - February 22, 2018 2:24 am
Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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