Milk price variances around the country.

I’ve wondered for quite some time now why milk/half and half (not cheeses though) prices are so different in different parts of the country.

Visiting Albuquerque, NM and milk is about half the cost of what it is here in the Florida
panhandle. Regular price…not sale price.

We’ve got local dairys just like they have, with presumably the same expences.

Here’s an example: Super Walmart in Abq:$1.88 gallon for 2%
Here in the Florida panhandle: $2.92…again, regular prices.

Now some of the more boutiquey places here can get really pricey for a gallon of 2%…
upwards of $4.00.

Anyone know what gives?

How far is it shipped? Where are your regular sources? I thought that milk was semi-local in origin, in other words you wouldn;t be getting milk from Wisconsin in Florida…

You don’t have local dairies like theirs, and they don’t have the same expenses.

Florida is just not a good state for raising dairy cows in. New Mexico is.

Florida Dairy Farmers Made More on Milk, Spent More on Feed in 2007

That’s a small amount of milk produced. New Mexico produced 7.3 billion pounds in 2007 and its production is skyrocketing.

The difference in population is also important. Florida has 18 million people, New Mexico two million. So New Mexico produces 27 times as much milk per capita as Florida. Not much of a surprise that milk is cheaper there. New Mexico exports most of its milk, too, and that probably helps keeps Florida milk as cheap as it is.

There are federal price supports that guarantee a minimum price paid for milk that radiate in a circle from Wisconsin. The Wisconsin farmers hardly ever see it take effect. The farmers farthest from Wisconsin are the most likely to see it kick in. This does sometimes keep prices higher in those highest support paid states. It certainly is not why there is always a higher price someplace. Distribution costs will definitely make a large difference in the prices as generally will the quantity sold in a community. The more sold the lower the price the store can get on buying the milk so long as there isn’t a shortage.

IIRC, the federal prices supports that Harmonious Discord is talking about originate from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. They’re a (partial) explanation of why there’s now huge dairies in California - farmers there get paid more money when they sell their milk than farmers from Wisconsin do.

You can bet it’s a huge issue for midwestern farmers - they frequently try to get Congress to revisit the price supports to make it “fairer” for them. (Which, of course, hurts the dairy farmers that the current price supports favor.