Fate of milk pricing updates now in USDA’s hands

Nearly 40 proposals have been submitted to USDA to reform the Federal Milk Marketing Order.

American Farm Bureau Federation economist Danny Munch has been tracking the process.

“Some of those proposals fit under the same category, so they might be combined, but ultimately the Secretary is going to decide what is the full scope of what can be discussed at the hearing,” he shares.

Munch tells Brownfield Farm Bureau supports requests by the National Milk Producers Federation but wants to eliminate any bias that could be included in make allowance updates.

“That’s the one out of their five issues where we have a particular issue with, we only support increases in make allowances if a mandatory survey of processor costs and yields is authorized,” he explains.

AFBF and NMPF both support updates to Class I differentials, updating component values, returning to the Class I mover to “higher-of” Class III or IV formula, and dropping barrel cheese from Class III component and price calculations.

Munch says their organization has also submitted eight additional proposals to update how milk is priced.

“Lots of tweaks and ways that our farmers and our members think that we can improve the system to make things fairer and more market reflective,” he says.

All modified proposals were due Tuesday to the USDA.  Munch says at the end of July, USDA will decide if a Federal Milk Marketing Hearing is necessary and one is tentatively set for August 23rd in Carmel, Indiana.

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