AGRICULTURE: Curdled Milk

"When Benson went to Europe," thundered Republican Congressman Usher Burdick last week, "we made a mistake by buying him a return ticket." Agriculture Secretary Ezra Taft Benson had curdled North Dakota's Burdick by announcing that federal price supports on milk and butterfat would be cut to the legal minimum, 75% of parity, on April 1. Current support levels: 83% for milk, 80% for butterfat. The cuts were needed, explained Benson, to shrink the "incentive for excessive production."

Production had been excessive, all right. Outlays for dairy-product supports jumped 20% this year. Piled up in federal storage depots as of Dec....

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