In a letter dated Feb. 2, the California Department of Food and Agriculture has denied a petition from milk producer groups to hold a hearing to consider a temporary milk price increase. The Department said a hearing shouldn’t be held while producers are deciding whether or not to join a Federal Milk Marketing Order, even though the timing for that process is undetermined.
The letter claims that the Department is aware of the impact of low milk prices on California dairy families, attributing the price level to global milk supplies exceeding demand. The Department also said that both producer-owned and proprietary dairy processing plants are under financial pressure. The letter cited the Departments recent manufacturing cost study.
The letter acknowledges the entire California dairy industry is “currently facing financial stress” and was signed by Jeff Cesca, director of the Division of Marketing Services.
It was on Jan. 18 that Western United Dairymen and the California Dairy Campaign filed a petition for a hearing on milk prices with the Secretary, proposing a 60-cent per cwt increase in the price for Class 1, 2 and 3, ten centers for 4a and 40 cents on 4b.
You can view the CDFA Letter by clicking the link below: