Experts predict another challenging year for dairy farmers

ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. (AP) Experts are predicting another challenging year for dairy farmers following four straight years of low farm milk prices.

Mark Stephenson, director of Dairy Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, says he expects prices to be better this year than in 2018, but not by a lot.

One plus is that the new farm bill includes an improved insurance program to help farmers during times of low prices but that program has been delayed by the partial government shutdown. While the shutdown is over, the Farm Services Agency still needs to write the rules for the program before the payments start. Experts expect the payments to be retroactive.

"Vermont dairy farmer Walter Bothfeld says, "It helps but it's almost too little too late."

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