Laurie Fischer says the 2018 Farm Bill changed the price formula language from “higher of” to “average of” the classes. “And it just so happens that it didn’t go through a federal milk marketing hearing process, and it was changed legislatively and so a lot of dairy farmers weren’t aware of this change.”
Fischer says more than 450 dairy farmers have signed on to the letter, saying they don’t care to have things changed legislatively unless they’re involved in the process. “We prefer going through the federal milk marketing hearing process. We don’t really like the process. It’s very cumbersome. It takes a long time, and so we need a fix to stop some of this bleeding soon.”
Fischer says the coalition has asked legislators who made the 2018 Farm Bill language to rectify this in the short term and to come up with long-term solutions. She says National Milk and IDFA are working on the issue, and she hopes farmers can join them at the table to resolve the milk pricing issues. “It’s difficult, but again, farmers need processors but processors need farmers.”
Fischer says farmers need to be able to look at their milk checks and clearly understand what was paid and how deductions were calculated.