As 2018 comes to an end, reflecting over the past year reveals some significant developments for the California dairy industry. One of the biggest events for California dairy farmers was the switch over to a Federal Milk Marketing Order after 50 years under the state milk pooling plan. Getting a federal order was a lengthy process and many dairy groups are excited for the future potential for the California dairy industry.
Tariffs also had a significant impact on dairy producers throughout the year, but there is optimism moving forward after the successful negotiation of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement. There is also excitement for more accurate labeling standards, after Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb indicated the agency will begin to take a tougher stance on labeling non-dairy products as milk.
Western United Dairymen highlighted state initiatives like the Alternative Manure Management and FARMER Programs as being incredibly valuable to producers in helping to reduce costs and increase sustainability in the industry. The long awaited and recently passed Farm Bill will be also providing better risk management for dairy farmers with the milk insurance program now called Dairy Market Coverage.