The Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) advanced Class I base price continues to rise, and there’s a change in the Class I mover formula impact, albeit small.

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Editor / Progressive Dairy

At $21.11 per hundredweight (cwt), the July 2024 advanced Class I base price is up $1.03 from June 2024 and $3.79 more than a year ago. It’s the highest Class I base price since January 2023.

Through the first seven months of 2024, the Class I base prices average $19.16 per cwt, inching closer to the 2023 annual average of $19.20 per cwt.

Class I zone differentials are added to the base price at principal pricing points to determine the actual Class I price in each FMMO. With those additions, July Class I prices will average approximately $23.93 per cwt across all FMMOs, ranging from a high of $26.51 per cwt in the Florida FMMO to a low of $22.91 per cwt in the Upper Midwest FMMO. The impact on July FMMO uniform prices will be seen in early August.

For the first month since last October, the 2018 Farm Bill change to the Class I pricing formula paid a small dividend for producers. The spread in the monthly advanced Class III skim milk pricing factor ($7.72 per cwt) and advanced Class IV skim milk pricing factor ($8.93 per cwt) narrowed for July to $1.21 per cwt, the smallest gap since October 2023.


Based on Progressive Dairy calculations, the Class I mover calculated under the “higher-of” formula would also have resulted in a Class I base price of $20.97 per cwt, about 14 cents less than the actual price determined using the “average-of plus 74 cents” formula.

Since that formula change in May 2019, the American Farm Bureau estimates dairy producer losses have topped $1 billion. A change in the formula back to higher-of calculations is included in both the FMMO modernization proposal and in preliminary versions of House and Senate farm bills.