Dairy Termination Program:

A Perspective on Its Participants and Milk Production

RCED-88-157: Published: May 31, 1988. Publicly Released: May 31, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Dairy Termination Program, specifically: (1) milk production under the program; and (2) the results of a questionnaire sent to dairy farmers who bid on the program.

GAO found that: (1) although milk production levelled off during the program, total production did not decrease because nonparticipating farmers increased their production during the period; and (2) federal purchases of dairy products decreased in 1986 and 1987 as a result of decreased production and an increased demand for dairy products. GAO also found that: (1) 40 percent of the program participants who responded to its questionnaire believed that the program would have little or no effect on milk production at the end of 5 years; (2) 26 percent of the participants planned to return to dairy production after the end of the program; (3) 26 percent indicated that they would probably have quit dairy operations without the program; and (4) about 69 percent of the unsuccessful bidders under the program indicated that they would definitely bid on another program.