Agricultural Marketing Service
News Release

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USDA Announces Recommended Decision to Ame


Becky Unkenholz (202) 720-8998
Billy Cox (202) 720-8998

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 24, 2004 - The U. S. Department of Agriculture today announced a decision recommending 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 recommends changes to various reporting and payment deadlines, as well as changes to the pooling standards of the Northeast order. The recommended amendments would: establish year-round supply plant performance standards; eliminate the split-plant provision; create a standard for the number of days a dairy farmerís milk production must be delivered to a pool plant to qualify the rest of the dairy farmer's milk for diversion; establish explicit limits on the amount of milk a pool plant may divert to nonpool plants; exclude 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; prohibit the ability to pool the same milk on the order and on a market-wide pool administered by another government entity; and grant authority to the market administrator to adjust the touch-base and diversion limit standards as market conditions warrant.

The recommended decision will be published in the March 25 Federal Register. Comments must be received by May 24 and should be sent to the Hearing Clerk, United States Department of Agriculture, STOP 9200 - Room 1083, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9200.

For additional information about the decision contact: Erik F. Rasmussen, Market Administrator; USDA/AMS/Dairy Programs; P.O. Box 51478, Boston, MA 02205-1478; Tel. (617) 737-7199; e-mail:

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