California milk cap.
May 11, 2020

California Quota Hearing Reset to June 9, 10

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has re-scheduled its hearing on dairy quota for June 9 and 10. The hearing is to determine whether to repeal Chapter 3.5 of the California Food and Agriculture Code, which authorizes milk check deductions to pay quota holders.

The hearing was originally scheduled for March, then re-scheduled for April and postponed again due to the COVID-19 pandemic. STOP QIP, a farmer-led group opposed to the quota, petitioned CDFA earlier this year to end the quota deductions, saying their authorization did not meet legal requirements.

The hearing will be held as a virtual webinar with no in-person testimony. Read the full notice here.

In other California quota news, the California Producer Review Board voted to increase the quota assessment from 32.5₵/cwt to 36.5₵, reports Geoff Vanden Heuvel, director of regulatory and economic affairs for the California Milk Producers Council.

The original assessment had been set at 38₵/cwt, but the Board found that level of funding was generating more revenue than was needed to pay quota holders. Last summer, the Review Board recommended lowering the assessment to 32.5₵. The Board realized this amount would not sustain the program long term, but wanted to refund over collected money from the 38₵ assessment, says Vanden Heuvel.

The 36.5/cwt assessment level should sustain the program long term. The change must be approved by Karen Ross, the CDFA Secretary, before it goes into effect.