California will hold yet another hearing on its dairy quota program, this one scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday of this week, to consider sunsetting the program on March 1, 2025.
The hearing comes as a result of a proposal and subsequent petition by the United Dairy Farmers of California (UDFC). The group started the process in early 2019 in response to a group of state farmers who wanted to stop the quota program immediately. (Those efforts have failed, but the group, StopQIP, has filed a lawsuit when its petition was rejected.) UDFC was finally able to obtain sufficient signatures on its petition back in June of this year.
The first part of the UDFC proposal would equalize the dairy quota differential to $1.43/cwt statewide. That, in turn, would reduce the monthly QIP assessment each dairy farmer must pay 2.5₵/cwt to something just over 30₵/cwt. Second, it would terminate the Quota Implementation Plan on March 1, 2025.
“After the Regional Quota Adjuster adjustment, each pound of quota solids would generate $5 per month in revenue,” says Geoff Vanden Heuvel, director of regulatory and economic affairs for the California Milk Producers Council. Since there are 53 months between now and Mach 1, 2025, each pound of quota solids would generate $265 for quota holders, he says.
Once the hearing is held, California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross will decide if a producer referendum on the proposal is warranted. Details on the hearing can be found here.