3.2% of Central Order Farms Market 50% of Pooled Milk
Federal Milk Marketing Orders (FMMOs) were originally designed to protect small dairy farms from predatory processors and ensure every dairy farm received the same minimum price within the same zone of an FMMO.
As dairy farms have evolved and grown, it now turns out that the largest farms might be the biggest beneficiaries from these protections. According to data from the Central Order, which encompasses 10 states in the central part of the country, 23 large farms account for 25% of milk marketings in October. Each of these farms shipped more than 7.076 million pounds of milk that month.
“Half of the milk on the Central Order in October was accounted for by including the next 51 farms—these farms had marketings between 3.056 and 7.040 million pounds,” reports Central Order economists. “Thus, 3.16% of the farms marketed 50% of the milk during October 2019.”
There were 135 farms in the Central Order that marketed more than 1.5 million pounds of milk in October, which approximates one tanker load of milk per day. “Although these 135 producers accounted for only 5.76% of the total producers in the Central market, their marketings comprised 63.81% of the milk pooled,” says the economists.
There are now 2,343 farms that market milk in the Central Order in October. That number is just 20% of the peak number of farms of 11,683 in June 2001.
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