Ag groups prepare for Federal Milk Marketing Order hearing
Farmer and processor groups are now preparing for a USDA hearing on the Federal Milk Marketing Order system.
American Farm Bureau Federation economist Daniel Munch says the USDA has outlined the scope of the hearing based on the proposals submitted. “And they saw some things that they think fit into their specific scope put forth by NMPF’s (National Milk Producers Federation) original proposal, and they they will allow folks from each of those stakeholders including us, the American Farm Bureau Federation, to testify on the specifically-chosen topics.”
Munch says American Farm Bureau Federation supports four of the five proposals USDA agreed to consider from the National Milk Producers Federation, and he’s pleased USDA will hear four out of nine proposals being considered came from Farm Bureau. “That included adding 640-pound cheddar cheese blocks to the protein price formula, adding unsalted butter to the butterfat protein price formula, the elimination of advanced pricing of Class I milk and components, and then increasing the Class II differentials to $1.56 per hundredweight.”
Munch says not all of the American Farm Bureau’s proposals were accepted into the hearing scope, but that doesn’t mean those proposals cannot move forward. “Informal rulemaking through a different process can be another pathway for changing things like a universal milk check standard, so more mandatory disclosures on depooling and more uniform milk checks. That’s something that can happen through informal rulemaking.”
Munch says Farm Bureau will be gathering data to defend their proposals, and working with other stakeholders who have similar goals to make the best possible argument for changes.
Munch expects the hearing to take a couple of weeks or longer beginning August 23rd in Carmel, Indiana. Individual farmers will have time set aside on Fridays to provide testimony.