Dairy farm advocacy groups recently filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Food and Agriculture, claiming the state's milk pricing formula improperly undercompensates milk producers.

The legal action is based on the premise that the CDFA violated its legal requirement to calculate milk prices in "reasonable and sound economic relationship" to comparable prices around the country, said Lynne McBride, California Dairy Campaign executive director.

"California dairy producers continue to be paid significantly less than those in surrounding states," she said. "We strongly feel the department needs to remedy this situation."

The legal action follows a government hearing this summer that considered changing the minimum pricing formula that determines what processors are required to pay farmers for milk.

CDFA officials made a minor change to the formula, but dairy farmers continued to demand pricing relief as they grappled with high feed costs and one of the country's lowest milk prices for producers.

For more, see: Dairy farm advocates file lawsuit over low milk prices