A Federal Milk Marketing Order Makeover

A Federal Milk Marketing Order Makeover

Haylie Shipp
Haylie Shipp
With California Ag Today, I am Haylie Shipp. This is the Ag Information Network.

USDA is now considering updates to the Federal Milk Marketing Order. The deadline for modernization briefs was April 1.

Stephen Cain, an economist with the National Milk Producers Federation, says there is a huge list of requested changes. One primary issue is returning to the "higher of" Class 1 mover...

"We made a change a few years ago, turns out to not be the best decision there, so we're looking to return to the 'higher of' mover, which worked for many years, maybe decades."

Other requests look at making sure the system and formulas within orders are reflective of current milk production...

"We took a step back, looked at the federal order system and said, 'Alright great, these need to be updated, but we can't just update one piece over there, this will benefit just one side of the industry.' We took a holistic approach and updated changes that are beneficial for the entire industry."

Hearings on the topics have included processor representatives which often have a different point of view. However, one of the areas Cain says they could agree on were changes needed to make sure there is enough investment in processing...

"The make allowances were a really big piece there looking to make some adjustments there to move those up to make sure we have a healthy processing industry as well as healthy dairy farmers."

USDA recommendations will come in July, with finalization at the end of the year. Most decisions won't take effect until quarter one of 2025.

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