USDA continues evaluating milk marketing orders

(Photo: Economist Roger Cryan questions Kevin Krentz during the recent USDA Federal Milk Marketing Order hearing)

A producer who served on the American Farm Bureau’s national dairy committee says it will still be a while before USDA releases federal milk marketing order proposals.

Kevin Krentz from Wisconsin tells Brownfield the instructional hearing process is over and now it’s wait-and-see what USDA suggests as a path forward. “It is a slow process, but there’s a number of steps they need to walk through. They’re on about number six of twelve of the whole process and really, what we’re going to see coming out is probably I’m guessing mid-summer, sometime.”

Krentz says it’s important for dairy farmers to be well informed this year and watch for USDA to make announcements. “Do your research. Understand what any potential change would be for your particular farm. Your particular (milk marketing) order is extremely important this year.”

And, Krentz says knowing how any USDA proposal impacts the home farm is vital to that farm’s future. “And there’s a chance that those federal orders might disappear. This is an up or down vote when it comes to the time that we actually vote. It’s either yes that we have the change (or) if it’s a no vote, the order disappears, so that’s how critical this is.”

Krentz says if one or more of the federal orders go away, it can affect how farmers get paid for their milk, the payment structures, and third-party verification of milk quality.  He says the Farm Bureau is working with the University of Wisconsin Extension to have a process in place to communicate with farmers once USDA starts laying out their path forward.

Audio: Kevin Krentz talks to Brownfield about the progress now that the USDA’s hearing on federal milk marketing order hearings is over during the WPS Farm Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

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