The U.S. Department of Agriculture will hold another hearing to examine whether manufacturing allowances for cheese, whey, butter and powder need to be adjusted and if so, by how much.

The hearing will be held Thursday, Sept. 14, in Strongsville, Ohio. The exclusive purpose of this week's hearing is to take into evidence data on plant manufacturing costs compiled by CornellUniversity, although the USDA announced that other "pertinent data" may also be accepted. At the same time, the USDA is also currently receiving additional proposals regarding all aspects of the Class III and Class IV price formulas. These proposals are due on or before Sept. 30. USDA will hold an information session on these proposals after they have been received and analyzed.

NMPF's Economic Policy Committee will review the latest Cornell data and discuss the implications of the hearing during a call later today.

NMPF's current position remains that the USDA can and should issue an interim decision that adjusts the make allowances upwards, while holding Class I and II prices harmless (i.e., continuing to price them off the current Class III and IV formulas until a final decision is rendered).

NMPF