Agriculture Update: Milk Money Staying Here; Vidalias Start Selling On 4/25

Nearly every Georgia dairy farmer voted to extend the Georgia Milk Marketing Order for another three years. The measure, which passed with 96% support, allows for 10 cents of every 15 cents raised in Georgia will stay in Georgia.

What, you might ask, is the basis for this scheme?

Federal law requires U.S. dairy producers to pay $0.15 cents per hundredweight into the national dairy check-off program to drive increased sales of and demand for dairy products and ingredients.  With the approval of the continuation of the Georgia Milk Marketing Order, $0.10 cents of the $0.15 cents per hundredweight that producers invest remains at the state level with the Georgia Agriculture Commodity Commission for Milk (ACCM).  The ACCM was created in 1969, and is recognized as a qualified program under the rules of the Federal Milk Marketing Order, which allows the money collected to be used by the Georgia Milk Commission.

Vidalias will be for sale earlier than usual this year.

The Georgia Department of Agriculture said in a statement that April 25 is the first ship date for the 2016 Vidalia Onion crop (apparently known as “Georgia’s underground treasure”).

“The worst thing we can do is start too early,” Brett McLain chairman of the Vidalia onion growers advisory panel said in a Department of Agriculture statement.  “In the past we’ve done just that and have shipped immature onions and it has just about ruined our industry. That is what we have been working with the Commissioner to avoid, and I think this date will help us accomplish that.”

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