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National Farmers members at '09 Convention propose funds

As America's milk producers focus on 2009 farm input prices for feed, fuel, electricity and hauling, the mailbox price they receive for their milk is falling.

In fact, since last summer the paychecks hard-working dairymen earn have fallen, in some cases by nearly 50 percent. And the forecast for 2009, isn't pretty.

"The milk price difference between Dec. '08 and Jan. '09 is alarming, it's expected to fall from $15.28 to just $10.75, a drop of $4.50," said Brad Rach, National Farmers Dairy Division Director. "We believe a dairy farm stimulus fund should be established to increase milk income loss payments for dairy producers."

Although production is up 1 percent over last year, Cooperatives Working Together will remove 61,000 of those cows, leaving just 25,000 more cows than last year.

Here are how the numbers stack up:

Dec. Class III -$15.28;

Jan. Class III - $10.75;

Feb. Class III -$10.00;

2009 Class III Average Futures Price - $12.08;

$1.07--Block Cheese Cash Price;

$1.13 lb. Support Price for Block Cheese;

$1.07 lb. Barrel Cheese Cash Price;

$1.10 lb. Support Price for Barrel Cheese.

"In February, producers can expect to receive $12.50 to $13.00, once the current MILC payment is factored in," said Rach. "We believe our farm stimulus proposal should be implemented to bolster MILC payments that would not only directly help dairy farmers, but also stimulate the ag economy," Rach said.

National Farmers believes that a long-term price solution includes dairy farmers and cooperatives working together to create a pricing agency.

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