Dairy and Poultry Outlook (monthly) provides key dairy data,
market outlook, and forecasts.
in U.S. Cheese Consumption May Slow (August 2010). Cheese
production and markets have emerged as important dairy industry
elements over the past three decades. Supply-and-use analysis shows
an upward trend in total cheese consumption over the past three
decades. Nielsen 2005 retail Homescan data were used to analyze
cheese consumption by location, as well as by income, age, and
racial/ethnic groups. Own-price and expenditure demand elasticities
were also calculated using the Nielsen data. To the extent that
increases in consumers' food expenditure translate into more cheese
purchases, it is expected that total cheese consumption will
continue to rise. However, changes in the demographic profile of
the U.S. population may somewhat slow future growth.
Costs, and Issues for Organic Dairy Farming (November 2009)
uses 2005 ARMS data for U.S. dairy operations, which include a
targeted sample of organic milk producers, to examine the
structure, costs, and challenges of organic milk production.
Findings suggest that economic forces have made organic operations
more like conventional operations and that the future structure of
the industry may depend on the interpretation and implementation of
new organic pasture rules.
Low Costs Drive Production to Large Dairy
Farms (September 2007) reports that average production costs
per hundredweight (cwt) of milk produced fall sharply with herd
size. Large dairy farms earn substantial profits, while most
smaller operations experience economic losses. Given the cost
advantages, the shift of dairy production to large farms
contributes to rising industry productivity and lower real dairy
prices. For the full report, see Profits, Costs, and the Changing Structure of
Dairy Farming (September 2007).
Consumer Aspects of the Organic Milk Market (May 2007) analyzes
retail scanner data from 2004 and finds that most purchasers of
organic milk are White, high income, and well educated. Consumer
interest in organic milk has burgeoned, resulting in rapid growth
in retail sales of organic milk. Most organic milk is sold in
supermarkets, and organic price premiums are large and vary by
U.S. Dairy at a New Crossroads in a Global
Setting (November 2005) highlights changing economic and policy
forces facing the U.S. dairy industry today. As dairy markets
evolve, U.S. milk producers and processors are positioned to pursue
both domestic and export market opportunities. For the full report,
see U.S. Dairy at a Global Crossroads (November
Impacts of Trade Liberalization on the U.S. Dairy
Market (August 2006) reviews the economic effects of trade
liberalization in world dairy markets by examining effects on farm
milk prices and production, producer and consumer surpluses, and
government revenues and program expenditures. The empirical
analysis suggests multilateral trade liberalization leads to
generally modest price and production impacts on U.S. milk
Dairy Backgrounder (July 2006) reports that
shifts over time in consumer demands, the location and structure of
milk production, industry concentration, international markets, and
trade agreements have dramatically altered the U.S. dairy industry
and changed the context for dairy policies and the sector as a
whole. In the future, the U.S. dairy industry is likely to become
more fully integrated with international markets.
Trade Liberalization in International Dairy
Markets: Estimated Impacts (February 2006) examines issues
related to modeling complex policy regimes that affect
international dairy markets. Average bound tariffs for dairy remain
among the highest of all agricultural commodities and dairy trade
is characterized by a large number of megatariffs and tariff-rate
quotas (TRQs). Modeling results indicate that liberalization would
reduce world dairy product supplies and increase the value of dairy
Dairy Policies in Japan (August 2005) provides
a detailed description and analysis of Japan's policies that
support its milk producers and regulate dairy markets. If Japan's
policies were liberalized, prices and production in Japan would
fall, but sizable milk production would remain.
Economic Effects of U.S. Dairy Policy and
Alternative Approaches to Milk Pricing (July 2004) shows that the effects of dairy
programs on markets are modest and that current dairy programs are
limited in their ability to change the long-term economic viability
of dairy farms. Other forces--technology, changing consumer demand,
and changes in the marketing and processing sectors--while
difficult to measure, are likely to have more impact. (This file is
1.5 MB in size and may take time to download.)
Effects of U.S. Dairy Policies on Markets for Milk
and Dairy Products (May 2004) examines the economic effects of
the principal current dairy sector programs. The analytical results
address the economic impacts of Federal milk marketing orders,
direct payments to producers, price supports, and export
Manure Management for Water Quality (June
2003) evaluates the costs of spreading manure on cropland at the
farm, regional, and national levels. EPA regulations enacted in
February 2003 require concentrated animal feeding operations
(generally the largest producers of hogs, chicken, dairy, and beef
cattle) to meet nutrient application standards when spreading their
manure on cropland in order to preserve water resources from
nitrogen and phosphorus runoff. USDA is encouraging all animal
feeding operations to do the same. If all operations meet the new
standards, increases in production costs could be felt throughout
the food and agricultural system.
The Changing Landscape of U.S. Milk Production
(June 2002) illustrates how milk production has changed in the
United States since 1975. Questions of how much milk is produced,
where it is produced, and by whom it is produced are important both
nationally and regionally. Dairy farms continue to grow, become
more specialized, and, in some regions, more concentrated. But
small traditional dairy farms also remain part of the industry.
Milk Pricing in the United States (March 2001)
provides a primer on the U.S. milk market, cutting through the
complexities to describe key pricing mechanisms and to provide a
basis for more detailed study. Farm milk prices in the United
States are determined by public and private pricing institutions
whose interactions have become complex.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Dairy Programs. Information on Federal milk
marketing orders, grading, research and promotion, and Federal
- Dairy Market News Portal. Market information on
milk and dairy products.
- Dairy Operations. Government purchase
information on the milk price support program.
- Price Support. Includes information on the
Milk Income Loss Contract Program.
Foreign Agricultural Service, Dairy Analysis.
Links to publications, charts, and information on international
Agricultural Statistics Service. Historical data, publications,
and the Census of Agriculture.
Management Agency. Information about risk management programs
available to producers.
Rural Development, Cooperatives Program.
Research reports, cooperative information reports, and service
reports with statistics and information on all types of
World Agricultural Outlook Board.World
Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports and
Agricultural Outlook Forum speeches.
National Agricultural Library, National
Agricultural Library Digital Repository (NALDR). Online
browsing of historical ERS Agricultural Economic Reports and
Agriculture Information Bulletins.
Other Government Agencies
U.S. Department of Commerce, Census
Bureau. Census data on population is used for computations of
per capita dairy product consumption. The Economic Census provides
information on dairy product firms by product used.
U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis. Macroeconomic
information used for market outlook and research work.
U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Databases, Tables, and
Calculators by Subject. Retail dairy product prices and milk
and dairy product price indexes.
U.S. Food and Drug
Administration. Regulations and compliance related to
sanitation of interstate milk shipments, labeling of fluid milk and
dairy products, and evaluation of new animal drugs.
Trade Representative, Agriculture. Agricultural trade position
of the United States and other trade-related information.
California Department of Food and Agriculture,
Dairy. California's state milk marketing program operation and
Organization. Multilateral trade data and information,