The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposed a temporary rule published in the March 30, 2018, Federal Register that would bump Class I milk prices up by 9 cents per hundredweight for a seven-month time period. This emergency provision could raise consumer prices by less than 1 cent per gallon during that time.
This temporary provision would apply to all milk in the Florida federal order. The reason for its implementation is related to Hurricane Irma. That storm disrupted the orderly flow of milk within the Florida marketing area between September 6 and September 15, 2017.
The money collected from this USDA-AMS proposal would be dispersed to handlers and producers who incurred extraordinary expenses due to Hurricane Irma. AMS estimates that 248 dairy farms produced milk pooled on the Florida FMMO in 2017.
Five co-ops made the proposal
Southeast Milk, Dairy Farmers of America, Premier Milk, Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, and Lone Star Milk Producers requested this proposed amendment. The dairy farmer members of these five cooperatives supply the majority of the order’s pooled milk.
Also, handlers in the Florida marketing area would not be at a competitive disadvantage due to the temporary assessment because of its uniform application to all Class I beverage milk. Of course, Class I milk is a big deal in Florida as it represents 83 percent of all milk sales in the order. That’s the highest market share in the nation.