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USDA Recommends California FMMO, Begins Producer Referendum

Apr 04, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture published on Tuesday a final decision to recommend the establishment of a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) for California. The proposed FMMO is subject to producer approval by referendum, which opened on Tuesday, April 2, and will conclude May 5. The FMMO would become effective if it’s approved by two-thirds of the voting producers or by producers of two-thirds of the milk represented in the voting process.

California represents more than 18 percent of all U.S. milk production and is currently regulated by a state milk marketing order.

USDA will hold a public meeting on April 10 in Clovis, Calif., to explain how the proposed FMMO would work. Stakeholders may attend or watch the meeting live via webcast. Meeting details, as well as information regarding the producer referendum, are available on the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service website.

Read the proposed rule in the Federal Register.

Temporary Price Increase in Florida

Last week, USDA also proposed a rule that would temporarily increase the minimum price for Class I, or fluid milk, in Florida to compensate producers for losses stemming from Hurricane Irma last September.  USDA proposed amendments that would increase the price of Class I milk at a maximum rate of $0.09 per hundredweight (cwt). The revenue generated would be disbursed to handlers and producers who experienced market losses and expenses due to Hurricane Irma.

USDA said the proposal would reimburse handlers in four categories:

  • transportation costs to deliver loads to other than their normal receiving plants;
  • lost location value due to selling milk in lower location-value zones;
  • milk dumped at farms or on tankers and skim milk dumped at plants; and
  • distressed milk sales.

USDA expects this temporary assessment to start in August and continue until all losses are covered, which may be four to six months. 

Read the proposed rule in the Federal Register.

For more information, contact Dave Carlin, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy, at

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