Agricultural Marketing Service
News Release

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USDA Announces Tentative Final Decision to

Release No. 199-03

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



WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 15, 2003 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced a tentative final decision that amends provisions of the Pacific Northwest and Western Federal milk marketing orders. This decision is based on testimony and evidence given at a public hearing held April 16-19, 2002, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

This decision would eliminate unneeded standards and change standards that have resulted in inappropriately pooled milk on the Western order. Amendments to the Western order would: 1) establish a "net shipments" standard for supply plant deliveries to the order's distributing plants for the purpose of meeting the shipping standard, 2) calculate pool plant diversion limits on a net basis, 3) eliminate the proprietary bulk tank handler feature, which is no longer being used for its intended purpose, and 4) clarify the producer and producer milk definitions. An amendment to both the Pacific Northwest and Western orders would eliminate the ability of a handler to simultaneously pool the same milk on a Federal order and a State order that utilizes marketwide pooling.

The tentative final decision will be published in the Aug. 18 Federal Register.

USDA will conduct a vote within 30 days on the amended order to determine dairy producer approval. USDA also encourages all interested parties to file comments in response to the tentative decision. Comments must be received by Oct. 17, 2003 and will be used to formulate the final decision.

For additional information about the decision contact: James R. Daugherty, Market Administrator; USDA/AMS/Dairy Programs; 1930 - 220th Street, S.E., Suite 102, Bothell, WA 98021-8471; Tel. (425)487-6009; e-mail:


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