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USDA could be flexible in FMMO reform

The chief economist of the International Dairy Foods Association says USDA has the potential to combine proposals presented during the Federal Milk Marketing Order hearing.

Mike Brown tells Brownfield the entire dairy industry agrees the current Class I formula isn’t working.

“They can look at the realm of any of the specific proposals or really anything in the middle they think may be a better solution,” he says.  “They have a lot of flexibility in what they can do.”

Brown says moving forward he expects cooperatives, processing plants, and private producers to expand together in a way that can be independent of federal orders and easier for those involved.

“That provides stability not only to plants of course, but also to producers,” he says.  “I think in this day and age, the last few years, with the volatility, we’re all looking for that stability.”

IDFA has proposed USDA adjust the Class I mover annually based on two years of milk production history.  IDFA also wants make allowances to better reflect the cost of processing milk into other products.

Brown expects to see USDA’s recommendations later this summer.

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