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House Bill Addresses Dairy Crisis

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/housebilla_4446.mp3

The Missouri Senate is considering a bill that would relieve dairy farmers from the extra burdens they’re bearing due to the economic crisis. KSMU’s Alvin Chen reports.

Senator Frank Barnitz is currently sponsoring the bill which would provide two years of tax credits to help dairy farmers.

"It was set up to provide a tax credit to the producer for those months that his production costs were higher than what the milk price was. So, it took the difference and more or less, that's what the credit would be for", Barnitz said.

He says the economy has slowed down demand for dairy products, and rising energy costs have also hurt farmers. Barnitz adds that Missouri is losing dairy farms at a very fast rate.

"What we're trying to do is reverse the trend of losing milk production in the state, turn that around, and increase the production in the state, therefore reducing our need on purchasing milk from outside of the state of Missouri", Barnitz said.

According to Barnitz, the farmers can sell their tax credits and use the proceeds to go toward their dairy farms.

The bill has already passed the House.

For KSMU News, I'm Alvin Chen.