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New Make Allowances Go Forward; Appeals Court Denies Request to Delay

Sep 22, 2008

A federal appeals court late last night denied a request by a group of dairy producers to block implementation of new make allowances put forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As a result, USDA today used the new allowances in its price announcement for October Class I and Class II skim milk and Class I butterfat.

A U.S. district court judge last Friday denied a similar petition from the producer groups, but they requested a stay pending an appeal filed with the Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. IDFA, USDA and several dairy cooperatives opposed the appeal, and a three-judge panel of the appeals court agreed.

"The judges' decisions to deny the stay will benefit the entire dairy industry," said Bob Yonkers, IDFA vice president and chief economist. "The new make allowances will keep all segments of the industry healthy by maintaining a market for farm milk and ensuring the longer term viability of dairy product manufacturers."

According to Yonkers, the producer groups still have the option of continuing the lawsuit either by appealing the denial of the request for a stay to the full Circuit Court of Appeals or by pursuing the original lawsuit in federal district court IDFA will continue to monitor the case and will participate again, if necessary.

The lawsuit, filed by the producer groups in August, challenged USDA's tentative partial final decision to amend the Class III and Class IV product price formulas in all federal milk marketing orders. The producer groups then filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking a preliminary injunction that would delay the new make allowances until a full trial before the judge could be scheduled.

The plaintiffs said the decision was illegal and claimed it did not consider requirements set forth by the new farm bill or information gathered during department hearings. IDFA disagreed and was granted the right to intervene in the lawsuit, participating on the side of USDA.

The dairy producers who brought suit are the Arkansas Dairy Cooperative Association, Inc.; Central Sands Dairy, LLC; Columbia River Dairy, LLC; Continental Dairy Products, Inc.; Dairy Producers of New Mexico; Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association; Select Milk Producers, Inc.; United Dairymen of Arizona; and Zia Milk Producers, Inc.

Several other dairy producer cooperatives joined USDA and IDFA as interveners in the case. They are Agri-Mark, Inc., Associated Milk Producers, Inc., Foremost Farms USA Cooperative, Land O' Lakes, Inc., Michigan Milk Producers Association, and Northwest Dairy Association. According to their court filing, these dairy cooperatives represent more than 14,000 dairy farmer members.

For more information, contact Yonkers at 202-220-3511 or

Motions and Briefs

September 22, 2008

September 19, 2008

September 3, 2008

August 28, 2008

August 19, 2008

August 15, 2008


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