Federal Dairy Pricing Hearing Moves Forward

The federal Dairy Subcommittee is moving forward on a hearing on dairy pricing, according to the Green Bay-based American Dairy Coalition.

Although a Senate calendar date is not yet confirmed, the hearing is supposed to take place after U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s, D-New York, August recess. Gillibrand chairs the U.S. Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Dairy, Livestock, Poultry, Local Food Systems, Food Safety and Security.

Her office reports establishing scope and is currently interviewing potential panelists. Previously, Sen. Gillibrand told reporters she is working on milk pricing legislation and wants to have hearings to allow input from farmers, milk handlers and academia.

The upcoming Dairy Subcommittee hearing is expected to include a panel of dairy farmers as well as representation by cooperatives, processors and an expert on dairy policy and economics. Front and center is the Class I fluid milk pricing change made in the 2018 Farm Bill from the ‘higher of’ Class III or IV manufacturing prices to an averaging method, according to ADC. ADC says the move accrued more than $3 billion in losses.

ACD adds the upcoming hearing is likely to also include the FMMO hearing process and the impact of the USDA food box program cheese purchases.