Publications

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  • The Changing Landscape of U.S. Milk Production

    SB-978, June 01, 2004

    The U.S. dairy industry underwent dramatic restructuring during the last 50 or so years. Key structural features of the dairy industry are the quantity of milk produced and the location, number, size, and organization of dairy farms. The questions of where, how much, and by whom milk is produced are important from both a national and a regional perspective. The structure of milk production defines the potential direction of the industry. Dairy farms continue to grow, become more concentrated in certain regions, and become more specialized in producing milk. However, small traditional dairy operations remain scattered around the country.

  • Effects of U.S. Dairy Policies on Markets for Milk and Dairy Products

    TB-1910, March 04, 2004

    This report examines the economic effects of the principal programs authorized under the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 that influence the U.S. dairy sector. The analytical results presented in this study were used as input to a broader study mandated by Congress, which required an evaluation of the economic impacts of Federal milk marketing orders, direct payments to producers, price supports, and export programs.

  • Characteristics and Production Costs of U.S. Dairy Operations

    SB-974-6, February 25, 2004

    Total costs of producing milk in 2000 ranged from an average of $11.58 per hundredweight (cwt) of milk sold in the Fruitful Rim-West region to $18.23 per cwt in the Eastern Uplands. Milk producers in the West had a significant cost advantage over producers in other regions in 2000 because their operations were much larger. Operations with 500 or more milk cows had significantly lower total operating and ownership costs, indicative of the economies of size experienced by larger operations. Also, differences in animal performance, feed efficiency, and labor efficiency were critical in determining whether producers were in the low- or high-cost group for producing milk. These findings were based on the 2000 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS), the most recent national survey of milk producers.

  • World Events Frame Outlook for Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry

    LDPM-9601, June 25, 2002

    This report examines changes in the livestock, dairy, and poultry industry in 2001 and provides initial assessments of 2002 based on forecasts from the June 2002 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. In 2001, U.S. red meat and poultry production stabilized as lower beef production was partially offset by higher pork and poultry production. In 2002, slightly larger projected growth in meat production (2 percent) and lower exports are expected to result in lower wholesale prices for cattle, hogs, and poultry. Recovery in milk per cow is expected to override declining milk cow numbers and boost 2002 milk production by 2 to 3 percent.

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: 2000 in Review and 2001 Outlook

    LDPM-8701, October 03, 2001

    This report examines changes in the livestock industry in 2000 and provides initial assessments of 2001 based on forecasts from the August 2001 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. Strong economic growth in the United States in 2000 boosted the demand for high quality cuts of red meats, thereby increasing wholesale prices of beef, pork and lamb. However, broiler and farm milk prices declined compared with 1999. Poultry output remained strong in 2000 as exports increased by 9 percent. Extreme weather conditions may dampen beef production in 2001. U.S. pork exports should increase by 18 percent in 2001.

  • Milk Pricing in the United States

    AIB-761, February 28, 2001

    Over the past 125 years, a complex system of both public and private pricing institutions has evolved to deal with milk production, assembly, and distribution. The pricing of milk in the United States is part market-determined, and part publicly administered through a wide variety of pricing regulations. This report examines the many facets of pricing milk as it moves from the farm gate to alternative users

  • Structure, Management, and Performance Characteristics of Specialized Dairy Farm Businesses in the United States

    AH-720, October 27, 2000

    The U.S. dairy industry faces a changing government policy environment in the year 2000. Milk producers are struggling, and will continue to struggle, to adjust to markets that are more dependent on the forces of supply and demand. Data from the 1993-95 Farm Costs and Returns Surveys and the 1996 Agricultural Resource Management Study show that dairy farm businesses in general did a fairly good job of meeting short-term debt, generating returns, and meeting long-term debt from 1993 to 1996. The analysis indicates that farm management strategies will play an important role in determining the overall profitability of a dairy farm business as Government supports decline. However, the 1996 data suggest that changes in management techniques are adopted slowly.

  • Analyses of Generic Dairy Advertising, 1984-97

    TB-1873, February 01, 1999

    Generic advertising raised fluid milk sales about 6.0 percent, or 18.1 billion pounds, between September 1984 and September 1997. Sales of cheese rose by about 6.8 million pounds (milk equivalent) in the same period because of increased generic advertising. An assessment of 15 cents per hundredweight of milk sold commercially, mandated by the Dairy and Tobacco Adjustment Act of 1983, funded the advertising. Activities of the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board also contributed to increased milk sales over the past year. Gross returns to dairy farmers between September 1984 and September 1997 were estimated to increase by $3.44 for each dollar spent on generic advertising. This report presents the results of econometric demand models that examined the effect of advertising and other facts on milk and cheese sales.

  • Evaluation of Fluid Milk and Cheese Advertising, 1984-96

    TB-1860, December 01, 1997

    Generic advertising raised fluid milk sales an estimated 1.4 billion pounds, or 5.9 percent, during September 1995-August 1996. Assessments of 15 and 20 cents per hundredweight of milk sold commercially by producers and processors, respectively, provided funds for such advertising, as well as for research and nutrition education for fluid milk and milk products.

  • Commodity Program Provisions Under the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977

    AER-389, October 01, 1997

    Commodity program provisions of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 are summarized. Price support, loan level, disaster payment, program acreage, and other provisions of the legislation are discussed for wheat and feed grains, cotton, rice, peanuts, soybeans, sugar, dairy products, and wool and mohair. Miscellaneous provisions and those applying to grain reserves and to the beekeeper indemnity program are also summarized.

  • Structure of Dairy Markets: Past, Present, Future

    AER-757, September 01, 1997

    The U.S. dairy industry, many segments of which supported dairy policy changes in the 1996 Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act, is much different than it was 20 or even 10 years ago. This report provides a historical overview of the industry, more detailed examinations of the fluid milk market and selected manufactured dairy product markets, a discussion of future prospects and trends in the industry, and some thoughts on the implications of those prospects and trends for dairy farmers and their organizations, processors, dairy product manufacturers, and retailers.

  • The 1996 Farm Act Increases Market Orientation

    AIB-726, August 01, 1996

    The Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, a milestone in U.S. agricultural policy, provides new farm sector law for 1996-2002, fundamentally redesigning income support programs and discontinuing supply management programs for producers of many commodities. This bulletin provides a general overview of major changes related to production agriculture resulting from the commodity provisions, agricultural trade provisions, and conservation provisions of the Act.

  • Dairy: Background for 1995 Farm Legislation

    AER-705, April 03, 1995

    This report address considerations in the 1995 farm bill debate for dairy, including market conditions, policy proposals, trade agreements, and the interactions between policy and markets for selected commodities. The U.S. dairy industry is heavily influenced by public dairy policies and programs. The 1980s were marked by attempts to reduce government program costs by adjusting dairy price supports and initiating voluntary supply control measures. So far the same trends have continued into the 1990s. General issues of concern for the industry include: structural change in milk production, surplus production, international trade issues, and price policies. A key issue for legislators in 1995 will be price volatility in milk and dairy product markets.

  • Dairy: Background for 1990 Farm Legislation

    AGES-9020, March 01, 1990

    This report address considerations in the 1990 farm bill debate for dairy, including market conditions, policy proposals, and the interactions between policy and markets for selected commodities. The U.S. dairy industry is primarily a domestic industry with both imports and exports hovering around 2 percent of U.S. milk production. After a period of relatively high dairy price supports in the late 1970s and early 1980s which distorted milk prices and generated substantial excess milk supplies, the industry spent most of the 1980s attempting to reduce dairy program purchases and Government costs. Continuing issues are the appropriate price support level, the degree of automatic price adjustment, and the proper formula or mechanism for attaining it.

  • Provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985

    AIB-498, April 01, 1986

    The Food Security Act of 1985 (P.L. 99-198) establishes a comprehensive framework within which the Secretary of Agriculture will administer agriculture and food programs from 1986 through 1990. This report describes the Act's provisions for dairy, wool and mohair, wheat, feed grains, cotton, rice, peanuts, soybeans, and sugar (including income and price supports, disaster payments, and acreage reductions); other general commodity provisions; trade; conservation; credit; research, extension, and teaching; food stamps; and marketings. These provisions are compared with earlier legislation.

  • Provisions of the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981

    AGES-811228, January 01, 1982

    Commodity program provisions of the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981 are summarized. Price support, loan level, disaster payment, program acreage, and other provisions of the legislation are discussed for wheat, feed grains, cotton, rice, peanuts, soybeans, sugar, dairy, and wool and mohair. The following provisions are also summarized: miscellaneous; grain reserves; the national agricultural cost of production standards review board; agricultural exports and P.L. 480; food stamps; research, extension, and teaching; resource conservation; credit, rural development, and family farms; and floral research and consumer information.