Marketing orders, among other things, establish the pricing formula that determines how much milk processors pay for the milk they use. California operates under its own system, and California producers have complained about being paid less than producers in other states, who are part of the federal marketing order system.
“It’s time dairy producers, farmers and ranchers in every state have a say in the dairy pricing system,” Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, said last week.
The bill wades into a fight between importers and domestic olive oil producers. Imports would have to meet domestic quality standards if the U.S. olive oil industry separately establishes its own marketing order to set standards. Denham supports the provision, saying that “anybody who is going to import into our state ought to meet our standards,” but some Californians disagree.
“I don’t support it and none of my growers support it, to my knowledge,” said Carl Nelson, president of the Cullen Creek Group, a major olive oil press operation in Fresno County. “We feel it will raise prices and influence consumers to opt for other choices.”
The House bill also would consolidate dozens of individual grant programs that have previously been tapped for specific California projects.
The bill would eliminate, for instance, the distinct Agricultural Water Enhancement Program, which in 2011 delivered a $500,000 grant to the Modesto-based Western United Dairymen. A distinct Wetlands Reserve Program, in which California farmers have currently enrolled more than 12,000 acres in exchange for easement payments, would likewise be eliminated, as would a Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program, which has paid farmers to protect 29,148 acres in California.
The eliminated programs would, in a number of cases, be consolidated into broader programs.