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Milk Component Tests Rising On Pacific NW Order; Protein Up Less For Class I Milk


Milk component tests for butterfat, protein and other solids have risen in the Pacific Northwest federal milk marketing order in recent years, and component tests of producer milk classified as Class I milk and of route dispositions have increased as well, but to a lesser degree.

That’s according to a recently released staff paper, Component Tests of Class I milk and Fluid Milk Products, Pacific Northwest Order: 2008 and 2013. The paper was written by John Mykrantz, an agricultural economist with the market administrator’s office in Bothell, WA.

The milk component test increases on the Pacific Northwest order in recent years are primarily associated with milk produced in eastern Oregon and Washington and to a lesser degree in the western regions of the two states. Data of handlers fully regulated under the Pacific Northwest order for 2008 and 2013 are included in this analysis.

There are two different ways to look at the component tests of Class I products, the paper explained: the test of producer milk classified as Class I, and the imputed test of Class I route dispositions. Route disposition is defined as: a delivery to a retail or wholesale outlet (except a plant), either directly or through any distribution facility of a fluid milk product in consumer-type packages or dispenser units classified as Class I milk.

The first method, by definition, only looks at producer milk which is classified as Class I through the allocation process, which assumes that the components follow the skim and producer milk has a priority on Class I uses while other source milk receipts are down-allocated. Other source milk does not qualify as producer milk. This method is probably easier but may be slightly less accurate.

The second method looks more closely at the test of all receipts, producer milk and raw other source milk, arriving at plants and segregates organic from conventional milk. By including other source milk and segregating organic from conventional milk, a more accurate understanding of the component test of milk being used in Class I products can be achieved.

The butterfat test of farm milk is different than that of Class I milk. As a category, Class I fluid milk products have a lower butterfat test than the milk arriving at a plant. The butterfat in excess of Class I needs, in the form of cream, is used in other dairy products.

When making comparisons across different aggregations of milk with differing butterfat contents, it is appropriate to look at protein, other solids, and nonfat solids tests on a skim basis, the paper noted. It is assumed that the nonfat components of protein and other solids follow the skim.

Adjusting nonfat component tests to a skim basis...more

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