The Cooperative Working Together (CWT) program has now reached its goal of signing up 67% of the U.S. milk supply for two years, program officials announced this afternoon.
The announcement comes exactly one month after CWT announced it was seeking a two-year commitment from members. http://www.cwt.coop/about/news_releases/news_release_021109.pdf
That means producers of two-thirds of the nation's milk have now committed to contribute 10¢ for every hundredweight of milk they produce through December 2010, retroactive to January 2009. Membership is required if a producer wishes to participate in future herd retirements, says Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation which manages the CWT program.
The larger commitment, which should generate some $250 million over two years, should allow CWT to buyout a much larger number of cows in one shot this year, if it so chooses. In keeping with past policy, however, Kozak did not disclose dates for a future herd retirement or any targets for how much milk or cows to remove through such a buyout.
"But the good news is that CWT will continue to be engaged in efforts to improve the difficult economic situation that dairy producers are facing,” he says. He adds there is still time for producers to sign up for CWT.
The program removed 75,000 cows in 2008 for just under $90 million. In 2007, nearly 53,000 cows were culled at a cost of about $55 million. For more information, go to: www.cwt.coop