USDA agreed today not to offer any non-fat dry milk powder through an auction conducted by The Seam, a private marketing entity.
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) sought a temporary restraining order yesterday to halt the auction, fearing the powder could be sold at prices below 110% of the dairy support price, which is mandated by the 2008 farm bill. USDA and Seam entered into a court-ordered agreement not to hold any milk powder auctions until NMPF's full complaint and motion can be heard on Jan. 22, 2009.
The Honorable John W. Darrah, U.S. District Judge in Chicago, oversaw the proceedings and sided with NMPF on the issue, requesting USDA postpone the auction.
"NMPF moved quickly and decisively to defend the integrity of the farm bill provisions, and we are extremely pleased that Judge Darrah recognized the critical nature of NMPF's request,” says Jerry Kozak, NMPF president and CEO.
Under the 2008 farm bill, USDA is forbidden to sell milk powder back to the market at less than 88¢/lb., in order to keep prices from being further driven down.