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ATFFI Research Paper No. 12

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For several years there have been growing concerns about the long-run decline of farm incomes and the future viability of the dairy industry in Wisconsin. These problems are sometimes attributed to declining milk prices, and indeed the average milk price per hundredweight received by Wisconsin farmers has declined by over 40 percent since 1980 when inflation is taken into account. But there is now little optimism that the long-term decline of milk prices can be reversed. There is virtually no chance that the 1995 Farm Bill will raise the federal support price for milk products, and if anything there may be a decline in federal outlays for dairy price supports. It is likewise unclear whether there will be fundamental changes in federal milk marketing order arrangements that disadvantage producers form the Upper Great Lakes states.