For Immediate Release: March 16, 2000





MONTPELIER, VT – The Northeast Dairy Compact Commission today released $6.9 million for dairy farmers who provided drinking milk for the New England market in February.


 This money will help farmers pay fuel bills that have nearly doubled in recent weeks. The United States Department of Agriculture has estimated that the rise in price of petroleum will raise farmers’ fuel costs nationwide by $3 billion in through this year.


This money will be distributed to the nearly 4,000 farmers who provided class 1 milk for consumers in New England. Class 1 milk, the only milk the Northeast Dairy Compact can address, is that milk destined for use as a beverage, such as skim, chocolate or whole milk.


Once the $ 6.9 million is put through the formula that prorates total milk production against how much milk was used for beverage purposes, each farmer will receive an additional $1.29 for every hundred pounds of milk produced. A hundred pounds of milk is 11.6 gallons so the Compact premium amounts to an additional 11˘ per gallon.


Aside from high fuel prices, farmers are also coping with a farm price for milk that is as low as it was in 1978. For the sake of comparison, the national average price of a new home in 1978 was $62,500. The price of a gallon of gasoline was 68˘. And the price of a gallon of milk at the supermarket was $1.25.


Since July 1997 when the Compact went into effect, the Northeast Dairy Compact Commission has returned to farmers $91.8 million. Connecticut farmers have received nearly $ 7 million. Massachusetts farmers have received more than $5.5 million. Maine farmers have received more than $8 million. New Hampshire farmers have received nearly $5 million. New York farmers have received nearly $30 million. Rhode Island farmers have received nearly $400,000. And Vermont farmers have received about $40 million.


For more information please contact David Ferch at (802) 229-1941.

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