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Electronic Dairy Product Reporting Proposed

16 June 2011

US - The US Department of Agriculture's proposed rule for establishing an electronic reporting system for sales information of specific dairy products does not increase the number of categories of dairy products or the frequency of reporting that is currently required. USDA will be accepting comments on the rule until August 9, 2011.

The electronic reporting system was one of the requirements of the Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2010. According to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), this new system will provide the dairy industry with more timely information and streamline the process for reporting dairy product prices.

"Essentially the rule puts the existing price reporting requirements on an electronic platform, making the process more efficient," said Bob Yonkers, Ph.D., International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) vice president and chief economist. "IDFA supported passage of the Act last year and we are satisfied with how USDA has proposed to implement the electronic reporting."

The proposed rule requires the Secretary to publish a report on Wednesday of each week containing information obtained for the previous week. It also transfers the data collection responsibilities from the National Agricultural Statistics Service to AMS and announces AMS' intention to request approval by the Office of Management and Budget of the associated information collection requirements.

Unlike livestock markets, dairy product pricing is regulated by the federal milk marketing system, using complex formulas and monthly price announcements from USDA. Any manufacturer that processes and markets less than one million pounds of the specific dairy products per year would remain exempt from the reporting requirements. Price data reported are used by USDA to determine minimum class prices for raw milk under the Federal Milk Marketing Order Programme.

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