FarmFirst Cooperative supports old milk price formula

A dairy farmer cooperative says the formula for determining the Class I milk price should go back to the way it used to be.  Julie Sweeney with FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative says the cooperative would like USDA to revert to using the “higher of” the Class III or Class IV price in calculating the Class I mover in Federal Milk Marketing Orders when compared to other milk pricing proposals offered so far.  “FarmFirst looked at it and evaluated it, and said you know what? It doesn’t really get rid of the negative PPD’s (producer price differentials) regardless of what it says and it also shows that those PPD’s are still there. In fact, (in) some of the new proposals out there, it appears that they happen even more frequently.”

Sweeney tells Brownfield with multiple proposals and the potential for an emergency Federal Milk Marketing Order hearing, the cooperative did not want the “higher of” option or other reforms left out of the discussion. “If the USDA grants them a hearing, then FarmFirst will submit a proposal as well, but our discussions are ongoing as to what the best route is in determining what all should be amended and considered to be adjusted.”

Sweeney says the proposal from National Milk Producers Federation is apparently an attempt to help producers recoup around 157-million dollars in lost profits over the last year, which is honorable, but she says the older, proven formula seems to be the better option right now. “I’m sure there’s going to be more proposals out there and if the USDA is willing to grant emergency hearings, we’ll all take it from there.”

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative represents farmers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana.

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