The USDA published a final rule that amends the transportation credit balancing fund provisions in the Appalachian and Southeast Federal Milk Marketing Orders. It also establishes distributing plant delivery credits in the Appalachian, Florida, and Southeast FMMOs. The final rule is a result of a hearing held February 28-March 2, 2023, in Tennessee.
The hearing highlighted a long-standing milk deficit problem in the three southeastern orders and its impact on producers, cooperatives, and handlers serving the markets. The final rule implements a number of proposals to address this chronic issue and makes minor clarifying changes to the provisions based on public comments received. Among some of the changes, the rule updates the components of the mileage rate calculation and increases the maximum assessment rates on Class I Milk.
The amendments will be effective for milk marketed on or after March 1, 2024. The final rule was published on February 1, 2024.