An analysis of milk hauling charges in the Upper Midwest (Federal Order #30) shows dairy farmers pay an average of 32¢/cwt. The study was conducted by Corey Freije, with the Federal Milk Market administrator’s office in Minneapolis.
A whole array of factors go into hauling charges: pounds shipped per month, distance to plants, competition among handlers and the number of dairy farms in the market. But two things are clear: Upper Midwest dairy farmers generally pay less—much less, in fact—than producers in other regions. And the more milk a Midwest farm ships, the lower the hauling rate per hundredweight.
For example, farms shipping less than 50,000 lb. of milk per month pay a weighted average hauling charge of 49¢/cwt. Farms shipping 5 million lb. of milk per money pay a weighted average hauling charge of 11¢/cwt.
Wisconsin producers also pay the lowest rates. On a simple average basis, they pay 25¢/cwt. If you calculate the average on a weighted basis (by volume shipped per month), the Wisconsin average hauling rate drops to about 12¢/cwt.
North Dakota’s hauling rates are the highest. The simple average rate is $1.11/cwt. The weighted average is 56¢/cwt.