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California Dairy Farmers Want Dairy Crisis Deal Carried Out

By Amanda Brodhagen,

California dairy producers filed a petition with the California Department of Food (CDFA) and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross, requesting a hearing to put into action the milk pricing deal agreed to last week.

The deal is aimed at narrowing the price between what the state’s dairy farmers receive for their milk - which goes towards cheese production, and the price paid by processors in other U.S. states.

Dairy farmers and processors consented to a short-term understanding of $110-million that cheese processors will pay into the milk producers, which will be split up and shared among dairy farmers. The money will be generated by increasing the price of the state’s Class 4b milk, which is used for cheese processing – up to 46 cents.

Dairy is the number one agriculture commodity in California. The dairy industry has been struggling over the past five years. About 400 dairy farmers have been forced out of business, leaving the state with roughly 14,000 dairies remaining.

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