The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today that dairy farmers in all 10 Federal Milk Marketing Orders have approved through referendum the agency's final decision to make milk price regulation more consistent for all dairy processors, including producer-handlers who own farms and process milk. The new regulations will take effect June 1.
Producer-handlers with more than three million pounds of Class I sales per month will become fully subject to federal order pricing and pooling regulations in all federal milk marketing areas. In addition, the limit exempting any handler from pricing and pooling provisions remains at 150,000 pounds of Class I sales (combined route dispositions and sales to other handlers) per month.
IDFA and the National Milk Producers Federation began the process in January 2009 by submitting joint petitions to USDA that requested a hearing to consider changes to the provisions. USDA issued a final decision this February and recently held referendums among affected dairy producers in each of the 10 federal orders.
Read the details of the final rule in today's Federal Register notice.