Come February, Michigan dairy farmers will be paid more for their milk if they opt not to treat their cows with a hormone commonly used since 1994 to increase milk production.

Those who continue to use recombinant bovine somatotropin, rbST, on their herds will be penalized with lower prices paid for their milk.

The new carrot-and-stick approach to sway producers away from use of the hormone was announced to farmers last week by the Michigan Milk Producers Association, Dean Foods and Dairy Farmers of America, three of the largest milk marketing groups in the state. […]