Calif. Dairy Organizations Collaborate Regarding Quota Program

Groups Launch Exploratory Effort to Solicit and Analyze Proposals

News Release

Recently, the United Dairy Families of California, California Dairies, Inc., Land O’Lakes, Inc., Dairy Farmers of America, and the STOP QIP organization announced a multi-phase process aimed at soliciting and analyzing industry input on California’s historic quota program.

Included in this process is a series of meetings, starting later this month, open to all dairy producers and interested parties. These meetings are intended to solicit various pathways for the state’s quota program.

1) This multi-phase process includes three key parts: The Think Tank, Producer Feedback, and Analysis.

2) The Think Tank phase is for information-gathering from various segments of the dairy industry. This will include the meetings identified below, where producers will be able to voice their opinion and contribute ideas or concepts.

3) The Producer Feedback phase will allow producers to comment and challenge the ideas developed in the Think Tank phase.

In the Analysis phase, dominant ideas from the Producer Feedback phase will be analyzed for economic impacts, and legal pathways to adoption will be determined.

This process will be implemented with the assistance of dairy industry economist Dr. Marin Bozic and dairy market analyst Matt Gould. Dr. Bozic and Mr. Gould will be conducting an economic analysis of the proposed ideas.

The first series of meetings associated with the Think Tank phase are as follows:

● Tuesday, July 30 – 2 pm to 4 pm – Embassy Suites, Ontario

● Wednesday, July 31 – 9 am to 11 am – Heritage Complex, Tulare

● Wednesday, July 31 – 2 pm to 4 pm – Turlock Ballroom

● Thursday, August 1 – 9 am to 11 am – Washoe House, Petaluma

Meeting space is limited. All participants are strongly encouraged to register at

Dairy Prices Still Low

UC Davis’ Bees Butler on Low Dairy Prices


By Laurie Greene, Editor


As previously reported, the dismal below-production-costs dairy prices in California—the #1 dairy state—as well as in the rest of the nation, emanate from excessive inventory and slumping sales, particularly in the export market.

Leslie (Bees) Butler, a UC Davis Cooperative Extension specialist and lecturer in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, explained why dairy producers don’t cut back on milk production. “It is easier said than done,” he said, “and for many producers, it comes down to an income problem. Most production units are set up on a certain sort of ‘scale,’ if you like. So if I am all set up ready to milk, let’s say, 800 cows, or 1000 cows, and then you come along and tell me, ‘Well, you ought to reduce it a bit.’”

“Quickly, I, the dairyman, have to think of what I can do,” said Butler. “There may be a couple of things I can do. First, I can get rid of some cows, my lowest producing cows. You can do that, but it would be a temporary solution to the problem. The second is don’t add those high-producing heifers back into the herd, but they are the most efficient cows. So as you do add them in, you have to cull more lower-producing cows. Many heifers are much better producers than their mothers, so it just reduces the lifecycle of the poor mom.”

“And of course, cash flow in the dairy business is so important,” emphasized Butler. “You know there is a limit to how much a dairy farmer can reduce his income without impacting too seriously his ability to pay off loans, etc.”