The U. S. Department of Agriculture issued a proposed rule to amend the Dairy Product Mandatory Reporting Program as required by law.

The Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2010 amends the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to, among other things, provide for the establishment of an electronic reporting system for manufacturers to report sales information for specific dairy products.

“This change will provide dairy farmers with more timely information and streamline our process for reporting dairy product prices,” said Agricultural Marketing Service Administrator Rayne Pegg.

The proposed rule will establish an electronic reporting system for dairy product sales information. It requires the Secretary to publish a report on Wednesday of each week of the information obtained for the previous week, transfers the data collection responsibilities from the National Agricultural Statistics Service to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), and announces AMS’ intention to request approval by the Office of Management and Budget of the associated information collection requirements.

Any manufacturer that processes and markets less than one million pounds of the specific dairy products per year would remain exempt from the reporting requirements. Price data reported are used by USDA to determine minimum class prices for raw milk under the Federal Milk Marketing Order Program.

The proposed rule was published June 10, 2011, in the Federal Register. Public comments must be received by Aug. 9, 2011. Comments may be filed by visiting http://www.regulations.gov. USDA will issue a final rule implementing the program once public comments have been reviewed.

For additional information about the decision, contact Joe Gaynor; USDA, AMS, Dairy Programs, Market Information Branch Chief; 1400 Independence Ave., SW, STOP-0232, Washington, D.C. 20250-0232; phone (202) 720-9351; or e-mail at Joseph.Gaynor@ams.usda.gov.