Maine milk fee faces changes

Posted Feb. 04, 2010, at 11 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A final Senate enactment vote was pending on a bill to adjust Maine’s milk handling fees to help farmers cope with the rising costs of production.

The bill, which was up for a Senate vote Thursday, has already won final House approval. Gov. John Baldacci supports it.

The bill establishes a minimum fee of 4 cents per gallon and a maximum fee of 84 cents per gallon in the state milk handling fee. As milk prices drop, the handling fees rise, so consumers do not notice swings in retail prices.

The handling fees are part of a price support system to provide make up for price distortions and provide a safety net for farmers.

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