The Montana Board of Livestock is proposing to raise its fees on milk producers and to add a fee for processors.

The changes would bring $130,000 to the state Department of Livestock next year. The department has been battling budget shortfalls.

The proposed rule would affect 72 people who are licensed through the Department of Livestock for the production and sale of milk.

It would raise the minimum fee for licensed dairies from $50 to $225 a month. Other licensees, such as processors, would be charged a minimum $725 per month.

Dairy owners say the increases would threaten their businesses.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports Wilcoxson's Ice Cream President Matt Schaefer said he is considering using milk from Idaho to avoid the fees.

The board plans to hold a public hearing on the proposal.