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USDA Moving Forward with Potential FMMO Modernization

Brian German Dairy & Livestock, Dairy and Livestock, Industry

FMMO Modernization

Industry groups have expressed appreciation for the Action Plan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Last week USDA detailed a series of actions for considering revisions to the Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) system. The FMMO modernization proposal being considered was submitted by the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) back in May. Publication of the Action Plan has now started a 120-day timeframe for the formal rulemaking process.

“We’re gratified that USDA recognizes the comprehensive nature of our proposal and are looking forward to it being considered in full, because the whole of our plan adds up to more than the sum of its individual parts,” NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern said in a press release. “We will bring the same level of dedication and preparation to this part of the process that we did in drafting our own plan, which included more than 150 meetings and wide consultation across dairy producers and the entire industry.”

Should Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack choose to proceed with the process, a June 14 deadline would be established for submitting any additional proposals. A virtual pre-hearing informational session will be held on June 16. Any modified proposals would need to be submitted on June 20. Sometime in late July, a Notice of Hearing will be published in the Federal Register. The notice will include the date, time, and location of the hearing, along with the proposals under consideration. August 23 would be the tentative start date for a hearing.

The FMMO modernization proposal submitted by NMPF and its 25 cooperative members is requesting amendments to five provisions. The proposal seeks an increase to make allowances and a return to the “higher of” as the mover for Class 1 milk prices. Other actions proposed include updates to the Class 1 price surface and removing barrel cheese from the Class III pricing formula. The proposal also calls for an update to milk composition factors.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West