The American Farm Bureau Federation told Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Wednesday that requests to increase make allowances fall short of fairly supporting dairy farmers.
Make allowances are used in part to calculate how much a processor pays for milk. Dairy farmers, on average, lose $6.72 per hundredweight of milk produced, according to USDA data. The loss for dairy farms with less than 50 cows was even greater at $21.58 per hundredweight. Two dairy processor associations requested a federal milk marketing order hearing to increase make allowances. While AFBF is not opposed to updating make allowances, the proposals to USDA do not address the wider need for changes to milk pricing regulations, according to AFBF President Zippy Duvall.
In a letter to Vilsack, Duvall says, “The petitions we oppose here threaten to undercut trust between farmers who produce the milk and the processors who turn it into the dairy products we all know and love.”