For Immediate Release Contact: David Ferch

Sept. 20, 1999 (802) 229-1941

Northeast Dairy Compact Commission

Releases $3.9 million for Northeast Farmers

MONTPELIER, VT -- The Northeast Dairy Compact Commission released $3,918,286.14 today for payment to more than 4,000 farmers in the six New England states and New York. Since the Compact regulates only drinking milk and 44 percent of milk was bottled for drinking in the Compact region, each dairy farmer will receive 6 cents per gallon for 44 percent of the milk he produced.

This pool payment is being disbursed just before Congress decides whether the Compact should remain in existence. This pool payment also follows a summer of severe weather that caused cows to give far less milk than normal and consequently lowered farm earnings.

The charter of the Northeast Dairy Compact requires that the Commodity Credit Corporation of USDA be reimbursed for purchases made as a result of increased milk production that is above the national rate of increase. Based on a two year average, USDA determined that increases in milk production in the Compact region (3.6 percent) were higher than the national average (3.25 percent) and charged the Northeast Dairy Compact $1,363,000. This money was taken from the August producer pool with the remaining $3.9 million being disbursed to farmers.

Since implementation of the Compact Over-order Price Regulation in July 1997, nearly $72 million has been returned to the regionís farmers, including roughly: $30.2 million to Vermont farms, $360,000 to Rhode Island farms, $20.4 million to New York farms, $3.7 million to New Hampshire farms, $4.5 million to Massachusetts farms, $6.5 million to Maine farms and, $6 million to farms in Connecticut.

The Compact ensures that participants in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program do not pay more for their milk as a result of the premium. Since inception, WIC programs in the six New England States have been reimbursed a total of $1,895,241.08 million. The state breakdown is: $987,265.93 for Massachusetts, $377,314.80 for Connecticut, $98,283.50 for Vermont, $156,666.96 for Rhode Island, $128,344.82 for New Hampshire, and $147,365.07 for Maine.

For more information on how the Compact premium is determined or any of the other issues in this release, please call David Ferch at (802) 229-1941.

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