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Milk Pricing In The United States


  • Manchester, Alden C.
  • Blayney, Donald P.


This report provides a primer on the complex pricing system that has evolved in the United States to deal with milk production, its assembly (collection), and its distribution to alternative users. All the various government and private institutions making up the system are expected to work together to ensure that the public gets the milk it wants, while dairy farmers get the economic returns needed to provide the milk. The major institutions are the Federal milk price support program and milk marketing orders, the Northeast Interstate Dairy Compact, State regulations, dairy cooperatives, and milk and dairy product futures and options markets. Our goal is to provide a primer on milk pricing that can serve as a steppingstone to other, more detailed works for those so inclined.

Suggested Citation

  • Manchester, Alden C. & Blayney, Donald P., 2001. "Milk Pricing In The United States," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33612, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersab:33612

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Crosson, P. & Anderson, J.R., 1992. "Resources and Global Food Prospects; Supply and demand for Cereals to 2030," Papers 184, World Bank - Technical Papers.
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    Cited by:

    1. McBride, William D. & Greene, Catherine R., 2009. "Characteristics, Costs, and Issues for Organic Dairy Farming," Economic Research Report 55952, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Seo, Hongseok & McCarl, Bruce A., 2016. "Revisiting The Classified Milk Pricing System: Seasonal And Spatial Milk Pricing In The U.S," Journal of Rural Development/Nongchon-Gyeongje, Korea Rural Economic Institute, vol. 39(December), December.
    3. Joseph V. Balagtas & Daniel A. Sumner, 2003. "The Effect of the Northeast Dairy Compact on Producers and Consumers, with Implications of Compact Contagion," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 25(1), pages 123-144.
    4. Bolotova, Yuliya, 2015. "The Effects of FMMOs Pricing Regimes on Milk Price Behavior and Dairy Farm Profitability," 2015 Annual Meeting, January 31-February 3, 2015, Atlanta, Georgia 196779, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    5. Huang, Kuo S. & Blayney, Donald P., 2003. "How Dairy Price Changes Influence The Consumers' Welfare," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22031, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    6. Campbell James D., 2012. "Targeting Informative Messages to a Network of Consumers," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(3), pages 1-31, September.
    7. Tondel, Fabien & Maynard, Leigh J., 2004. "Is The Thinly-Traded Butter Futures Contract Priced Efficiently?," 2004 Annual Meeting, February 14-18, 2004, Tulsa, Oklahoma 34684, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    8. Newton, John, 2016. "Price Transmission in Global Dairy Markets," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 19(B).


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