Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) recognized the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board (PMMB) for keeping the Class I over-order premium price for milk at $1.60 per hundredweight and maintaining the current fuel adjuster for the six-month period ending September 30, 2015.
"We believe the board decided wisely in reviewing all the information presented by stakeholders," said PFB President Rick Ebert. "At the same time, we will continue to monitor milk prices, which are falling and are expected to continue downward over the next few months."
During testimony before PMMB on February 27, PFB noted that a relatively strong year for Pennsylvania dairy farmers in 2014 is not a certainty this year. Profit margins are expected to be squeezed in 2015 by substantially lower prices paid to milk producers.
"During my more than 30 years as a dairy farmer, my family and I have taken numerous actions to reduce the high level of volatility associated with milk prices and production costs. We have also come to appreciate the positive role of the over-order premium in providing some stability in prices paid to local producers," said Somerset County dairy farmer Glenn Stoltzfus, who is a member of PFB's state board of directors and chairman of PFB's state dairy committee.
Stoltzfus, who operates Pennwood Farms in partnership with three of his brothers, said the over-order premium benefits all Pennsylvania dairy farmers, including farmers like him, who ship their milk to markets where PMMB's premium is not required to be paid.
"Since the premium level established by PMMB helps identify a target price, it makes it possible for milk producers to obtain a higher voluntary premium," added Stoltzfus.
The over-order premium and the fuel adjuster add-on mandated by PMMB are assessed on Class I (fluid) milk that is produced, processed and sold entirely within Pennsylvania, which is the fifth largest dairy producing state in the nation.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state's largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of nearly 60,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.