A public hearing set for June 26 in Bloomington, Minn., will address a proposal to prevent the pooling of milk from outside the Upper Midwest federal milk marketing order (No. 30). In particular, the proposal aims to stop a practice known as “double dipping,” says Bob Cropp, agricultural economist at the University of Wisconsin.

The term “double-dipping” refers to the practice where excess fluid milk from California — milk that is already pooled on a state milk marketing order — is also pooled on the Upper Midwest order. Proponents of the proposal argue that allowing California producers to participate in the federal order system lowers the utilization of Class I (fluid) milk, which in turn lowers the price paid to dairy producers in the Upper Midwest order, explains Cropp. Opponents of the proposal argue that just the opposite will occur.

In addition, the following two proposals will be considered at the hearing also:

  • A proposal that would provide for separate pooling provisions for milk from areas outside the Upper Midwest. The Upper Midwest order includes Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula portion of Michigan.
  • A proposal that would change the advance payment to dairy producers for milk delivered during the first half of the month.

Interested producers may voice their opinion or suggest modifications to the proposals at the hearing. For more information about the hearing, contact Gino Tosi, marketing specialist with the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service at (202) 690-1366, or send e-mail to: gino.tosi@usda.gov