Proposed milk price changes could return millions to Montana dairy farmers

The Montana Milk Control Bureau is contemplating a new pricing system on milk that aims to help the industry compete with neighboring states and put several million dollars back into the pockets of farmers.

The proposal comes on the heels of a first-of-its-kind report commissioned in June by the bureau examining the state of the dairy industry in Montana.

The new pricing system would update the pricing structure for two out of the three types of milk produced by Montana dairy farmers: fluid cream used to make products from yogurt and sour cream to ice cream and cottage cheese, as well as the butterfat used to make cheese and butter.

Producers in the state have argued that the current system, which has been in place since 1967, does not properly compensate them for the increased value of butterfat.

The proposed amendments, based on a less-volatile federal pricing system, “provides a

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