National Milk Producers board votes to support milk marketing order reforms

The National Milk Producers Federation board unanimously voted to support the modernization of the Federal Milk Marketing Order milk-pricing system. 

The NMPF board voted in favor of several changes including the number one priority of producers and processors who discussed dairy pricing at American Farm Bureau Federation’s forum in Kansas City a week and a half ago:  Return the Class I mover to the “higher of” and not the average of Class III and IV. 

The NMPF board also voted to:

  • Discontinue including barrel cheese in the protein component price formula;
  • Extends the current 30-day reporting limit to 45 days on forward priced sales on Nonfat Dry Milk and dry whey to capture more exports sales in the USDA product price reporting;
  • Update milk component factors for protein, other solids, and nonfat solids in the Class III and Class IV skim milk price formulas;
  • Develop a process to ensure make-allowances are reviewed more frequently through legislation directing USDA to conduct mandatory plant-cost studies every two years
  • Update dairy product manufacturing allowances contained in the USDA milk price formulas.

NMPF is still working on other Class I milk price issues including county-level Class I price differentials. That work is expected to be completed later this year.

NMPF says any final proposal will be reviewed before asking USDA to consider a federal order hearing.

The board’s decision is being applauded by FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative’s General Manager Jeff Lyon, who is also on the NMPF board and serves on their Federal Milk Marketing Order Task Force.  Lyon says, “Trying to modernize federal milk marketing orders is no small feat and becomes quite the balancing act when involving every milk shed across the country,” He says there is still a lot of work to do, and other ideas will surface, but these recommendations provide a solid foundation.  Lyons says now, this proposal needs to keep moving forward.

The vote happened during the joint annual meeting of the National Milk Producers Federation, the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board, and the United Dairy Industry Association in Denver, Colorado.

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