USDA Issues Recommended Decision Proposing Amendments to all Eleven Federal Milk Marketing Orders

July 01, 2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today issued a Recommended Decision on its website proposing to amend the uniform pricing formulas applicable in all 11 Federal milk marketing orders (FMMOs). The Recommended Decision follows a 49-day national hearing held from August 23, 2023, to January 30, 2024, in Carmel, Indiana, where USDA heard testimony and received evidence on 21 proposals from the dairy industry. 

The Recommended Decision puts forth a package of amendments to update formulas and factors based on the evidentiary record of the proceeding. More specifically, this decision recommends the following:

1) Milk Composition Factors: Update the factors to 3.3 percent true protein, 6.0 percent other solids, and 9.3 percent nonfat solids.

2) Surveyed Commodity Products: Remove 500-pound barrel cheddar cheese prices from the Dairy Product Mandatory Reporting Program survey and rely solely on the 40-pound block cheddar cheese price to determine the monthly average cheese price used in the formulas.

3) Class III and Class IV Formula Factors: Update the manufacturing allowances to: Cheese: $0.2504; Butter: $0.2257; NFDM: $0.2268; and Dry Whey: $0.2653. The Recommended Decision also proposes updating the butterfat recovery factor to 91 percent.

4) Base Class I Skim Milk Price: Update the formula as follows: the base Class I skim milk price would be the higher-of the advanced Class III or Class IV skim milk prices for the month. In addition, adopt a rolling monthly Class I extended shelf life (ESL) adjustment that would provide for better price equity for ESL products whose marketing characteristics are distinct from other Class I products. . 

5) Class I differentials: Update the Class I differential values to reflect the increased cost of servicing the Class I market. The county-specific Class I differentials are specified in the decision.

Publication of the Recommended Decision in the Federal Register is anticipated in early July 2024, and will invite public comments on the recommended proposals. Once it is published, comments may be submitted at the Federal eRulemaking portal: Comments may also be filed with the Hearing Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 1031-S, Washington, DC 20250-9200, fax number (202) 720-9976. All comments should reference the docket number and the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. All comments will be made available for public inspection in the Office of the Hearing Clerk during regular business hours or can be viewed at:

Copies of the hearing notice may also be obtained from USDA/AMS/Dairy Program; STOP 0225 - Rm. 2530; 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-0225.

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