USDA Issues Final Rule on Reimbursement to Florida Milk Handlers and Producers Affected by Hurricane Irma

May 10, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service today announced in a final rule published in the Federal Register its adoption of amendments to the Florida Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO). The amendments implement a temporary assessment on Class I milk. Revenues collected through the assessment will be disbursed to handlers and producers who incurred extraordinary marketing costs and losses due to Hurricane Irma.

The proposed amendments to the Florida FMMO were approved by eligible producers and were based on the evidentiary record of a public hearing held in Tampa, Fla., December 12 through 14, 2017.

In September 2017, Hurricane Irma caused widespread devastation throughout the entire state of Florida, resulting in dairy processing and manufacturing plant closures, store closures, and extensive road closures, cumulatively resulting in negative market impacts for all Florida dairy farmers in the market.

USDA held the hearing on an emergency basis to consider a proposal submitted by Southeast Milk, Inc., Dairy Farmers of America, Inc., Premier Milk, Inc., Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, Inc., and Lone Star Milk Producers, L.C. At the hearing, USDA took testimony and received evidence regarding the proposal.

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