PA Farm Bureau: PMMB Maintains Current Dairy Price
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) expressed appreciation with the decision of the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board (PMMB) to maintain the Class I over-order premium price of milk at $2.65 per hundredweight for the six-month period beginning January 1, 2010. PMMB also decided that if milk prices rose to a certain level (Class I mover reaches $15.50 per hundredweight), the over-order premium would be reduced to $2.15 per hundredweight and remain at that level through June 30, 2010.
“We recognize PMMB weighed the many challenges facing dairy producers in 2010 in making its decision, especially after the harsh struggle Pennsylvania farmers incurred throughout 2009 with low milk prices and high feed costs. Although it’s possible that the premium could be reduced by 50 cents per hundredweight during the six-month period of the order, we believe it is unlikely to happen until the last few months, if at all,” said PFB President Carl T. Shaffer.
During testimony earlier this month, PFB said the continuation of the current price was a necessity even though the price farmers receive for the milk they produce is finally starting to improve.
“Although milk prices have finally taken a turn in a positive direction, they still haven’t reached the break-even point for dairy producers. In addition, increased milk checks in the near future will not be enough to quickly reverse the dire situation on most dairy farms across Pennsylvania,” said PFB Vice President Richard Ebert, who is a Westmoreland County dairy farmer and chairman of PFB’s Dairy Committee.
Farm Bureau also commended the PMMB for keeping in place its current premium price add-on for fuel costs. Dairy farmers whose milk is produced, processed and sold in Pennsylvania for Class I use (fluid milk) also receive a premium add-on based on the cost of fuel.