Agricultural Marketing Service
News Release

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USDA Announces Final Decision to Amend Mid

Release No. 033-04

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

WASHINGTON, April 9, 2004 The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced a final decision that permanently adopts amended pooling provisions of the Mideast Federal Milk Marketing Order that had been adopted on an interim basis. This decision is based on testimony and evidence given at a public hearing held Oct. 23-24, 2001, in Wadsworth, Ohio.

This decision reaffirms amendments previously made which eliminated unneeded and changed inadequate pooling standards that had resulted in inappropriately pooled milk on the Mideast order. The amendments: 1) eliminated automatic pool plant status for the 6-month period of March through August, 2) excluded milk shipments to a distributing plant regulated by another Federal milk order as pool-qualifying shipments under the Mideast order, 3) eliminated the "split plant" feature which provided for designating a portion of a pool plant as a nonpool plant, provided that the nonpool portion was physically separate and operated separately from the pool side, and 4) established a "net shipments" standard for supply plant deliveries to the order's distributing plants for the purpose of meeting the shipping standard. This decision reaffirms amendments that increased the number of days that the milk of a producer needs to be delivered to a pool plant before being eligible for diversion to nonpool plants and instituted year-round diversion limits adjusted seasonally for all pool plants.

The final decision will be published in the April 12 Federal Register. USDA will conduct a vote on the amended order to determine producer approval. If producers approve the order as amended by this final decision, a final rule will follow to implement these changes.

For additional information about the decision contact: David Z. Walker, Market Administrator; USDA/AMS/Dairy Programs; 7851 Freeway Circle, Middleburg Heights, OH 44130; Tel. (440) 826-3220; e-mail:

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