DPAC is working on dairy policy and has already identified several immediate actions for which Dennis Wolff of Versant Strategies is working with us to achieve. DPAC is organized into action groups to work on dairy policy for the 2012 Farm Bill.
Immediate Actions to improve milk pricing transparency:
1. Price Reporting: This is the cornerstone of DPAC's actions on dairy markets and policy... Reducing the influence of the thinly-traded CME spot market on the farm milk price is critically important and it's something all dairymen agree on. More frequent (daily) electronic NASS price reporting (with auditing) is already authorized by the 2007 Farm Bill in section 1510 of the dairy title. It was never funded or implemented. DPAC is working with congress and USDA to get this very important piece of the current Farm Bill funded and implemented as soon as possible. DPAC will also be working to see that the electronic reporting is expanded in the next Farm Bill to include more products (fresh Italian cheeses and yogurt, for example).
3. Anti-competition and market concentration concerns: Provide comments and attend USDA – DOJ 2010 marketplace transparency workshops (Dennis Wolff will represent DPAC on a panel at the DOJ / USDA dairy market transparency workshop June 25 in Madison, Wisconsin)
4. Import assessment for dairy promotion: Urge USDA to implement import assessment of 7.5 cents per hundredweight equivalent as in 2008 Farm Bill Section 1507.
5. Federal Milk Marketing Order Review: Urge the Sec. Vilsack's Dairy Industry Advisory Committee (DIAC) to fulfill the role of a Federal Order Review Commission as stated in Section 1509 of the 2007-08 Farm Bill. Use this opportunity to restructure milk classifications to fewer classes and competitive pay price.
6. PMMB over order premium: Continue efforts since testifying at Senate hearing to improve transparency and capture of 'stranded' over order premiums that are intended for dairy farmers but are swallowed in the system, as well as equitable distribution of PMMB over order premiums.