The U.S. Department of Agriculture published today a final rule on Dairy Product Mandatory Reporting that makes minor changes to the collection of data for and publication of the department's weekly Dairy Products Prices report. This data is used monthly in the formulas that determine Federal Milk Marketing Order minimum component and class prices for milk. The final rule notes that USDA will conduct educational and outreach sessions prior to implementation of the changes on April 3.
This final rule is the result of changes made by Congress in the Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2010. USDA published a proposed rule June 11, 2011, and accepted public comments through August 9, 2011.
The current reporting and publication process has been in effect since 2000, when minimum component and class prices were introduced as a result of federal order reform. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) currently collects the data, and dairy manufacturing plants required to report must do so by noon local time each Wednesday by secure web-based application, email or fax. NASS currently publishes this data each Friday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
Changes to Reporting Process
The final rule will change this process. The data collection and publication will move from NASS to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Dairy manufacturing plants will now have to report this data by noon local time every Tuesday, instead of Wednesday, using only the secure web-based application; email and fax submissions will no longer be permitted. AMS will then publish the Dairy Products Prices report each Wednesday by 3 p.m. Eastern time instead of 8:30 a.m. on Friday.
The final rule also makes two minor changes to the data currently reported. NASS uses one survey form for each of the four products: cheddar cheese, dry whey, butter and nonfat dry milk. AMS will use five survey forms, requiring one form for cheddar cheese in 40-blocks and a separate form for cheddar cheese in 500-pound barrels.
NASS requires plants to report only one price – either the average price per pound or the total dollar amount of sales for all pounds sold each week. AMS will require manufacturers to report both the average price per pound and the total dollar sales each week.
The last NASS Dairy Products Prices report will be published on Friday, March 30, 2012. It will include data submitted to NASS by noon on Wednesday, March 28, for products sold during the week ending Saturday, March 24.
The first AMS Dairy Products Prices report will be published by 3 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, April 4, and will be based on data submitted to AMS by noon local time on Tuesday, April 3, for products sold during the week ending Saturday, March 31.
For more information, contact Bob Yonkers, IDFA vice president and chief economist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.