June 7, 2018

USDA Publishes Final Rule For California Federal Milk Marketing Order

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

Following years of debate, analysis, meetings, judicial review and finally a producer vote, California producers can be assured their milk will be marketed under a Federal Milk Marketing Order beginning November 1, USDA announced on Thursday.

“The new California FMMO will be implemented October 17, 2018, with publication of the Announcement of Advanced Prices and Pricing Factors, and affected parties must comply with all provisions beginning November 1, 2018. USDA will work over the next few months to educate handlers who will become regulated by the new FMMO,” USDA said in a press release. 

This news comes following a producer vote in favor of joining the FMMO. Currently California, which produces more than 18% of the nation’s milk supply, is regulated by a state order administered by the California Department of Agriculture. 

Land O’ Lakes Service’s COO Brad Oelmann says the FMMO “will better address disparities between farm gate prices in California and the rest of the nation.”

While California is joining the FMMO, it will retain some provisions specific to their region including pool participation rules and recognition of quota as administered by CDFA. 

“Where appropriate, the California FMMO adopts the uniform order provisions contained in the 10 current FMMOs in the national system,” USDA’s release said. “These uniform provisions include, but are not limited to, dairy product classification, end-product price formulas, and the producer-handler definition.”