Dairy Products Prices statistics are collected weekly and used by USDA to assist in the determination of the fair market value of raw milk. The "Dairy Market Enhancement Act of 2000", U.S. Code Title 7, Section 1627, required mandatory reporting of the price, quantity, and moisture content of butter, nonfat dry milk, cheddar cheese, and dry whey. Statistics from the Dairy Products Prices survey are used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to implement the National Dairy Support Program.
The Dairy Products Prices survey is a national program conducted weekly in selected states. The scope of the survey includes cheese plants, butter plants, nonfat dry milk plants, and dry whey plants that commercially produce 1 million or more pounds of these manufactured dairy products. Specific, detailed criteria has been established to allow standard price discovery for current sales that best represent current price trends in the market. Because of the specific criteria for sales to qualify as usable data, sales volumes are a subset of the universe of national production.
Data are collected for cheddar cheese in 40 pound block and 500 pound barrel form, butter, nonfat dry milk, and dry whey for human consumption. Data are released every Friday in our weekly Dairy Products Prices report.
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Dairy products producers provide data for prices and volume of sales for cheddar cheese, nonfat dry milk, butter, and dry whey, as well as barrel cheddar cheese moisture content. The data are collected as weekly totals of pounds sold and dollars received.
The primary use of the dairy products prices statistics are by USDA to assist in the determination of the fair market value of raw milk. Producers also use the information to determine production and marketing strategies. Producer organizations, financial institutions, traders, national policymakers, and foreign buyers and sellers are other important data users. Economists, analysts, and researchers interpret production data to projects past and future price trends.
The survey is conducted weekly and reporting is required by law.
The Dairy Products Prices survey universe is all facilities in the United States that produce 1 million pounds or more of the specified dairy products commercially. Data collected for the latest week are published the following Friday. Facsimile, mail, telephone, and web-based reporting are used to speed movement of data from respondents.
Last modified: 12/01/09
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