Two major players in the discussion over reform of the Federal Milk Marketing Order system have come to an agreement on the need for updates, but specifics are yet to be determined.

The American Farm Bureau Federation convened a meeting in Kansas City over the weekend to discuss the issue and left with a joint statement between it and the National Milk Producers Federation. The message paints in broad strokes on FMMO reform, but also says “it is time to consider improvements that better reflect today’s milk markets.”

“We anticipate the prospect of a hearing conducted by USDA in 2023 that could address FMMO price formulas, including all four Classes, as well as the Class I price surface,” the statement noted. “An amended pricing system should improve price discovery, improve the clarity of the program, continue to support timely payments to producers, and reduce price incentives to de-pool milk.”

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AFBF and NMPF also pointed to the pandemic disruptions to the dairy market in 2020, which the groups said “highlighted the need to modernize the program so that it can better mitigate the impacts on producers of disruptions in milk pricing such as occurred then. At that time, a combination of federal order price formulas, temporary market imbalances, and sudden demand disruptions created disorderly marketing of milk, to the detriment of producers.”

In addition to AFBF and NMPF, the American Dairy Coalition, National Farmers Organization, National All-Jersey, Georgia Milk Producers, Indiana Dairy Producers, Kentucky Dairy Development Council, Missouri Dairy, Dairy Producers of New Mexico, Ohio Dairy Producers Association, and Virginia State Dairymen’s Association all also attended the meeting and endorsed the statement.

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