The USDA has announced a final decision that adopts certain amendments to current provisions of the Northeast Federal milk marketing order. This decision is based on testimony and evidence given at a public hearing held on Sept. 10-13, 2002, in Arlington, Va.

This decision adopts changes to various reporting and payment deadlines, as well as changes to the pooling standards of the Northeast order. The adopted amendments include: establishing year-round supply plant performance standards; eliminating the split-plant provision; creating a standard for the number of days of production a dairy farmer must deliver to a pool plant to qualify the rest of the dairy farmer's milk for diversion; establishing explicit limits on the amount of milk a pool plant may divert to nonpool plants; excluding milk received by supply plants from producers not eligible to be pooled on the order from the total volume of milk used to satisfy supply plant performance standards; prohibiting the ability to pool the same milk on the order and on a marketwide pool administered by another government entity; and granting authority to the Market Administrator to adjust the touch-base and diversion limit standards as market conditions warrant.

This decision requires producer approval. If producers approve the order as amended by the final decision, a final rule will follow to implement the changes.

Source: USDA Release