Surveys

Dairy Products and Prices

Dairy Products Survey
Dairy Products Survey

The purpose of the Dairy Products survey is to provide information to help administer price support programs and by the dairy industry in planning, pricing, and projecting supplies of milk and milk products.

This survey is a national program conducted monthly in all states. The scope of the survey includes over 1,000 cheese plants, butter plants, ice cream plants, and other facilities that commercially produce manufactured dairy products.

Dairy Products Prices Survey

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.

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.

Respond Online

Click here to complete your survey online. Remember, you will need your 17-digit survey code to sign in.


Program Content

Dairy products statistics are collected monthly and used by USDA to establish estimates of stocks, shipments, prices received, and production for an entire month for such products as butter, cheese, dry whey, ice cream, and nonfat dry milk. Information on production of all other manufactured dairy products is collected, including water ices and condensed/evaporated milk products.


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.

Uses

Uses of statistical information are extensive and varied. Production is an important aspect of price discovery for all products, including butter, cheese, and dry milk, which are purchased at support levels by the Agricultural Marketing Service. Producers 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 project past and future trends, and determine the economic and social implications. State policymakers review the data to compare state trends and determine statewide policies affecting manufactured dairy production.


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.

Frequency

Dairy Products survey is conducted monthly. However, some producers are only able to report annually or semi-annually, depending on production cycles. Those facilities that report monthly are not required to report again on the annual survey. Facilities storing nonfat dry milk or human grade dry whey are required to report monthly.


Dairy Products Prices survey is conducted weekly and reporting is required by law.

Methods

The Dairy Products survey universe is all facilities in the United States which produce dairy products commercially. Data collection for the reference month begins around the third week of the following month because of the time needed for accounting to be completed by the facilities. Mail is the primary method of data collection due to the level of detailed information needed. Telephone contacts are made to encourage response.


The Dairy Products Prices survey universe is all facilities in the United States that produce one 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.

Related Programs

Cold Storage
Milk Production

Last Modified: 05/07/2020