A New York Assemblyman, Darrel Aubertine has introduced legislation to study the impact of milk hauling costs on dairy farmers. At question is ownership – once the milk leaves the farm, who owns it, and therefore who should pay the hauling cost?
“Ultimately it’s going to boil down to where does ownership begin and end. Today there is no clear define line as to where ownership begins and end’s,” said Aubertine.
Most dairy farmers argue that when the milk is mixed into a tank with other farm’s milk, it becomes the responsibility of the hauler because at that point the buyer owns the milk.
Should dairy farmers or the buyer be responsible for the costs of hauling milk? Many farmers argue that as soon as the milk is drawn out of their tank, it’s then the haulers, so they should pay the fee. A new study is underway to determine where ownership begins and ends.
As for the study, it’s being conducted by the Department of Agriculture and Markets. They’ll collect information from the past 20 years. Then based on that, Assemblyman Aubertine say’s they’ll put together a piece of legislation.
Klock says farmers didn’t always have to pay to have their milk hauled. He says in the early 1960’s, the cost was handed over to the individual farms. Before then, the buyer or hauling company was responsible, according to Klock.