A dairy safety net alternative formulated by two dairy economists with Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences is being discussed by lawmakers as a potential compromise to end a roadblock to a new farm bill.

The compromise is based on an independent analysis of the farm bill's dairy safety net proposals by Cameron Thraen, an associate professor in the college's Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, and John Newton, a recent doctoral graduate in agricultural economics.

Their plan has garnered interest among some lawmakers in Washington, D.C., according to published reports. The proposal includes a dairy producer margin protection program coupled with the current Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program, but does not include a dairy market stabilization program.

Of the many issues to be resolved in the House and Senate versions of the farm bill, the dairy safety net proposals present the most significant shift in federal dairy income support policy that the U.S. has seen in the past 60 years, said Thraen, who also holds appointments with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).

OSU Extension and OARDC are the statewide outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college.