FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative has submitted a proposal to the USDA to revert back to an old pricing order. The organization would like to revert back to using the “higher of” the Class III or Class IV price in calculating the Class I mover in Federal Milk Marketing Orders if USDA’s AMS grants a national emergency hearing to address the Class I mover issue. FarmFirst General Manager Jeff Lyon said, the proposal goes back to changes made in 1999.

“We put the higher of, of the Class III or Class IV price. And we just think that that’s worked well overtime. The last change was a legislative change in the 2018 Farm Bill. And the one back in 1999 had support of the industry, it worked well. Is it perfect? Probably Not. But we think it’s worked well. And if USDA decides to have a hearing on the Class I mover issue, we want to have that proposal as part of the discussion, too.”

The issue stems from negative Producer Price Differentials last year, driven by volatile markets. But there are multiple issues and proposals. Lyon said the key is to whether USDA looks at one issue, or all.

“The biggest thing will be whether USDA will have the hearing on that, or if they’re going to say let’s just do all the issues, that kind of thing, that’s really they’re call," Lyon noted. "We just want to be ready to have something and if it doesn’t happen or we have the emergency hearing, those kinds of things, we’ll be ready with our partners to provide and be ready to address all the other issues that are out there.”

If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail

More From PNW Ag Network