The American Farm Bureau Federation submitted multiple recommended reforms of Federal Milk Marketing Orders this week to the Department of Agriculture. AFBF Economist Danny Munch says the proposals stem from the FMMO Forum held by AFBF last fall and a proposal by the National Milk Producers Federation.
Munch; “The formal amendment process for federal orders begins with a formal submission of a petition outlining specific recommendations on a pricing topic. So, recently USDA responded to a petition from the National Milk Producers Federation by announcing an action plan, and the first step of that action plan was the request for additional proposals from other stakeholders.”
Munch explains what the AFBF proposals include; “The first part of our proposal included a refinement of what’s in NMPF’s petition. So, we support in principle most of the recommendations in that petition, which includes switching back to the higher of class one mover, increasing class one differentials, and increasing the component value used in milk pricing. We also had eight other proposals based on our existing policy. Some of the main ones there are expanding the products surveyed in the National Dairy Products Report Survey, removing advanced pricing for class one and class two milk, and then implementing uniform check requirement to improve transparency for farmers.”
Munch says a hearing could start in August; “USDA will provide a little extra time for folks to refine their proposals after going through them. Those will be due mid-next week. Then, the end of July, the Secretary will make a final determination of whether or not to hold the hearing, and their tentative start date for a hearing, if it happens, is the end of August. And hopefully, farmers will be able to testify virtually or in person throughout that process and stay involved.”
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