For Immediate Release Contact: David Ferch

July 20, 1999 (802) 229-1941

Northeast Dairy Compact Commission

Pays $4.2 million to New England Farmers

 

The Northeast Dairy Compact Commission released $4.2 million this week for payment to more than 4,000 farmers in the six New England states and New York. The average farmer in New England will receive approximately $1,050 from the funds.

The Compact sets a minimum price of $16.94 per hundredweight of Class 1 milk (drinking milk), or $1.46 per gallon, to be paid to the milk producer. The Compactís mechanism for setting this minimum kicks in only when the federally-set milk price falls below $16.94. Approximately 41 percent of dairy farmersí milk was used for fluid (drinking) purposes in June.

The payments released by the Compact are based on the difference between $16.94 and the federal milk price. Consequently, dairy farmers received an additional $0.73 per hundred weight of June milk production as a result of the Compact. This amount represents 5.4 percent of what farmers received for the milk they produced.

The Dairy Compact between the six New England states is scheduled to expire October 1, 1999. Legislation to extend the Compact and to expand it was introduced in Congress on April 27, 1999. The states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware this year passed legislation allowing them to join the six New England states in the Compact if the Compact is reauthorized by the Congress. To date, 24 states have passed legislation that could result in at least two dairy compacts based on the New England model, if Congress grants approval prior to October 1.

Since implementation of the Compact Over-order Price Regulation in July 1997, more than $62 million was returned to the regionís farmers, including $26.2 million to Vermont farms, $311,265 to Rhode Island farms, $17.67 million to New York farms, $3.23 million to New Hampshire farms, $3.92 million to Massachusetts farms, $5.66 million to Maine farms and, $5.23 million to farms in Connecticut.

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