MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A leading dairy farmers group is backing a proposed overhaul of federal milk policies after its creator agreed participation in a program limiting milk production in hard times would be voluntary.
The plan developed by Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson would replace dairy programs with new ones intended to better protect farmers from a crisis like that in 2009, when milk prices plunged, feed costs skyrocketed and hundreds went out of business.
The original plan called for limiting production when the difference between milk prices and the cost of producing it fell to a certain level. But some farmers objected, saying the answer to the industry's problems was less government interference, not more.
The National Milk Producers Federation said Monday it supports changes that give an incentive for voluntary participation.
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