California co-ops ‘encouraged’ after FMMO meetings

Three California dairy cooperatives released a joint statement following four September meetings to explore the possibility of forming a federal milk marketing order (FMMO) in the state. The three co-ops held member-only meetings, Sept. 18-20.

“California dairy families received some encouraging news in mid-September at a series of educational workshops presenting the results of a study that evaluated the viability of a federal milk marketing order (FMMO) in California. The study, which was jointly- funded by California Dairies, Inc. (CDI), Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Land O’Lakes, Inc., demonstrated that a properly written federal milk marketing order for California would provide a regulatory structure that may potentially result in higher farm gate prices.

”The study, conducted by Dr. Mark Stephenson, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Dr. Chuck Nicholson of Penn State University, also indicated that California could be a single marketing order; an important point for USDA to consider when determining how to structure a FMMO for California.  

”The three cooperatives, which represent 80 percent of the milk produced in California, continue to work with USDA, CDFA and the California dairy industry through the FMMO language drafting process to ensure positive outcomes for their member-owners.” 


Waiting on CDFA

On a separate track to address dairy producer milk prices, California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary Karen Ross has 62 days from a Sept. 12 hearing to rule on a state proposal providing a temporary 46¢/cwt. increase in the price of Class 4b milk and an increase in the cap of the whey value from 75¢ to $1/cwt. of milk. However, she also has to announce any changes 10 days before implementing them, so the effective deadline is 52 days from the close of the hearing if there will be any formula change. 

In the past, CDFA has tried to avoid mid-month changes and implement formula changes on the start of a month.  If that practice continues, an announcement is likely around Oct. 21, impacting milk sales after Nov. 1.