By Gregory J. Lamoureux
County Courier

The U.S. Department of Agriculture published the monthly milk price paid to farmers for the Month of October, with a slight increase in revenue for Northeast Dairies. The USDA publishes the monthly milk price paid to farmers midway through each month for the month prior.

October’s Statistical Uniform Price comes in at $18.44 per 100 pounds of milk shipped to the processing centers. That’s 48¢ more per 100 weight than it was in September. In February, the price paid to farmers was just $15.80 per hundred pounds of milk produced- the lowest since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, when prices fell to $13.47.

This October price is the highest October milk price paid to farmers in the past seven years.

In short, farmers who produced milk in October can expect to be paid 2.67% more for each pound of milk than what they were paid in September.

The actual price paid to farmers can vary drastically depending upon shipping costs, the amount of milk produced, and the amount of butterfat and other solids in the milk.

Class I milk, which is the highest priced raw dairy, came in at $2.00. That accounted for more than 30% of the market and accounts for dairy which is most commonly used for drinking.

Class II and Class IV dairy, came in just over $17 per hundredweight, with class III milk coming in at $18.83. Class II, which accounts for about 26.5% of the market, is oftentimes used for soft products, like cottage cheese, ice creams, and condensed milk.

Class III milk is typically used for cream cheese and other spreadable and hard cheeses. Class IV is typically used for butter and any other form of dairy in frozen form.

Farmers in the St. Albans area receive a lesser price of $17.59 after adjustments are made. The statistical price is calculated based on a 3.5% butterfat content, 2.99% protein content, and 5.69% remaining solids content. In actuality, the average butterfat content came in at 4% in October, and proteins came in at 3.18%, according to the USDA.

The USDA reports 2.2 billion pounds of milk were produced by farmers in the Northeast Region in October. That’s about 62 million pounds more than what was produced the month prior.

By law, producers are required to be paid no later than November 18th.