Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Missing Data

(click on images to enlarge)

In the above letter to National Family Farm Coalition, Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack states:

“The 2008 commercial disappearance number, 193 billion pounds quoted in your letter, actually includes commercial exports of dairy products on a milkfat basis (184.3 billion pounds domestic use and 8.8 billion pounds of commercial exports). On a nonfat milk solids basis, commercial disappearance in 2008 was 190.2 billion pounds on a milk equivalent basis (163.6 billion pounds domestic commercial use and 26.6 billion pounds of commercial exports). As you can from these data, domestic marketings are more than adequate for domestic use, and commercial exports have become very important to farm milk prices.”

Probably Vilsack never saw the letter. Some staffer handled the details. Certainly, Vilsack did not do the research.

The fact is, the “commercial disappearance” data put together by USDA do not include milk protein powders.

According to a USDA AMS report released in 2004, the USDA estimated those proteins equaled 5.9% of the domestic milk supply. Now, the above data shows the exports only amount to 4.8% of domestic production.

Of course, imports of those dairy proteins have increased 25% in the intervening year while milk production has only increased 11.1%.

Draw your own conclusions.

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