For Immediate Release: May 16, 2000
Contact: David Ferch (802) 229-1941


MONTPELIER, VT -- The Northeast Dairy Compact Commission today released $6.2 million to the regionís dairy farmers. This latest pool means the Commission has surpassed the $100 million benchmark since the Compact was implemented in July 1997.

 The May pool will be distributed to eligible farmers on the basis of $1.11 for every 100 pounds of milk produced, in addition to what they are paid as a result of the federally established minimum price. This Compact payment represents about 8 percent of dairy farm income for the month.

 Since the Compact was put into effect 35 months ago, it has generated $104,986,375 on 935,645,850 gallons of milk sold in New England.

 When the Compact went into effect, a group of dairy processors from New York filed a lawsuit in federal court on the grounds that the Commission did not have the right to regulate them. By court order, those processors made their Compact payments into an escrow account. Consequently, the farmers supplying those processors have not received Compact payments.

 Earlier this month the US Supreme Court denied an appeal by the New York processors, thereby upholding the Commissionís legal authority to regulate them and ending the lawsuit. As soon as the court releases the escrowed funds -- now totaling nearly $2 million -- the Compact Commission will perform an audit and distribute the funds. The farmers should see the money this summer.

 From the May pool, Connecticut farmers will receive about $479,056; Maine farmers will receive about $516,385; Massachusetts farmers will receive about $367,069; New Hampshire farmers will receive about $304,854; New York farmers will receive about $1,928,669; Rhode Island farmers will receive about $24,886; and Vermont farmers will receive about $2,550,820. These figures are based on these stateís share in supplying the New England market.

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