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Montana state auditors recommend cutting milk quotas

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Gallons of milk in a grocery store aisle

Montana’s shrinking dairy industry may see a cut to milk quotas due to low production.

The state is recommending that the Board of Milk Control decrease milk allowances after a recent state performance audit found Montana’s three dairy plants process about 70% of their dairy farmers’ daily quota.

Julia Connelley with the audit division says the state’s quota system no longer reflects production.

“It’s obviously fair that producers would like to keep quota where it is," she says. "That’s something that they own so they can produce at a certain amount and even if they haven’t been producing that amount, there’s still that wiggle room. But I think what is important is that the quota system as it is is not reaching its intended goals."

The quota system guarantees Montana’s 43 dairy producers a consistent and fair price. Auditors say the last time the system was updated was twenty years ago.

The Montana Department of Livestock agreed with the audit recommendations and the Board of Milk Control will consider the report at its next meeting on Oct. 27.