Glossary Index

Use the links below to navigate to a page listed in alphabetical order.


Terms A-F

Terms G-L

Terms M-R

Terms S-Z

S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z


Sales Below Cost*

In California, it is illegal to sell at wholesale or retail any dairy product below the cost of product. In the context of manufacturers and distributors, cost includes the cost of the raw product (ingredients) plus all costs of manufacturing, processing, handling, sale and delivery. Overhead costs are also to be included. As applied to wholesale customers, cost means the lower of the invoice or replacement cost plus the cost of doing business.

Sales for Restricted Use

Sales of CCC commodities for a specific use such as animal feed.

Sales for Unrestricted Use

Sales of CCC commodities which may be used for any purpose.


Refers to the phenomenon of changes in monthly milk production or dairy product consumption patterns depending on the season. Typically, milk production is lowest in the fall when dairy product consumption is at its highest.

Sell Back Price

Price at which CCC will make a sale from its dairy product inventories for unrestricted use. The sell back price is the higher of the prevailing market price or a percentage of the purchase price (typically 110%).

Short Months

Those months of the year when milk production is lightest and fluid use is the greatest, usually, late summer and fall.

Skim Milk

Milk from which sufficient cream has been removed to reduce its milkfat content to not more than 0.2 percent. Skim milk contains protein, lactose, minerals and water–soluble vitamins and only half as many calories as whole milk. In the final beverage form, it has been pasteurized or ultrapasteurized and contains added vitamins A and D.


Pricing mechanism used to establish upper or lower limits to movements of a price series, but it is seldom used today. The most common form was a butter–powder snubber calculated from wholesale market values less a make allowance.

Soft Products

A category of manufactured products with relatively short shelf life; i.e., cottage cheese, sour cream, ice cream, yogurt, buttermilk, etc. May contain ice cream, frozen yogurt and ice milks in some cases.

Solids–Non–Fat (SNF)

The solids in milk other than milk fat; e.g., protein, lactose and minerals. Sometimes referred to as nonfat solids.

Stabilization and Marketing Plans for Market Milk

The documents that describe the boundaries of each marketing area in California, the formulas for pricing milk, the procedure for implementing call provisions and unlawful dairy trade practices. Currently, California contains two marketing areas — Northern California and Southern California.

Standardized Milk

Milk which has been brought to a uniform milk fat and/or milk solids–not–fat content different from that of such milk at the ranch. Standardization of milk may be accomplished by the addition of skim milk, cream, or whole milk. Cream may also be removed to produce a standardized milk.

Standby Pool

An arrangement worked out among cooperatives in markets that have periods of milk shortage and cooperatives in the surplus milk production areas. The cooperatives in the deficit market make year–round payments to certain cooperatives in the surplus regions to assure that they have sources of milk at reasonable prices when local milk does not supply all the fluid milk requirements.

Super–Pool Payment

Premium, over the announced federal order class price, negotiated by cooperatives or a cooperative federation with proprietary handlers in a market.

Supply Handler / Call Handler*

A supply handler is any handler that does not qualify as a call handler. A call handler is any handler whose total direct and derived milk solids–not–fat Class 1 usage equals or exceeds 80% of total market milk solids–not–fat received or diverted, and whose direct and derived milk solids–not–fat Class 4a and 4b usage does not exceed 5% of total market milk solids–not–fat received or diverted. Supply handler and call handler designations pertain to the administration of call provisions.

Supply Management

Variety of plans that attempt to keep milk production either nationally or in a specific market from exceeding commercial market needs. Can be used as an alternative to low prices as a way to control production in periods of surplus or as a long–term approach to pricing.

Support Price

Set by the Congress through various farm bills, the support price is a target level at which the federal government will support the dairy industry in conjunction with the Dairy Price Support Program. The support price applies to manufacturing grade milk at average fat test (typically 3.67%). As of January 1999, the support price has been fixed at $9.90.

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Tailored Milk

See Standardized Milk.

Trade Association

Organizations that represent groups with a common interest or objective; the representation is most prominent in legislative and regulatory arenas. In the dairy industry, the most notable trade associations represent producers or processors. In California, the leading producer trade organizations are Western United Dairymen, the Alliance of Western Milk Producers, Milk Producers Council and California Dairy Campaign. The leading processor trade organization is the Dairy Institute of California.

Transportation Allowances*

Compensation given to producers to partially compensate for the cost of hauling milk from a producer's ranch to qualified plants (process more than 50 percent of SNF received into Class 1, 2 or 3 products). Cooperative associations can receive allowances on shipments received into their plants if the plant is located in a milk deficit area and if the plant supplies 40 percent of the milk received for Class 1 usage.

Transportation Credits*

Compensation given to handlers to offset some of the cost of hauling milk assigned to Class 1 usage from plants in designated supply counties to plants in designated deficit counties.

Transportation Differentials

A term sometimes used to describe Class I differentials or the portion of Class I differentials which are intended to cover the cost of hauling bulk milk from areas of excess grade A milk to deficit areas.

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UF (Ultrafiltration)

One of several types of membrane filtration technology. When applied to skim milk, the albumin proteins may pass into the permeate but the casein proteins are captured in the retentate. Can be applied as a pretreatment before cheese making (see RO).


Ultra high temperature pasteurization process where milk is heated to 280° F for at least 2 seconds. Typically, UHT milk is packaged in aseptic containers so as not to require refrigeration.


UHT milk or milk pasteurized nearly at that level but not aseptically packaged. Often used in single serving coffee creamers and some beverage milk for food service.

Uncommitted Inventories

Stocks owned by the CCC at a given time which have not been sold, donated or in any way committed for use.

Uniform Price

See Blend Price.

United States Dairy Export Council (USDEC)

An independent member organization staffed by DMI employees to help dairy exporters and suppliers increase U.S. dairy product exports around the world. USDEC coordinates industry export initiatives through integrated planning and programming aimed at opening and expanding foreign markets.

United States Department of Food and Agriculture (USDA)

The federal agency responsible for administering federal milk marketing orders through the Dairy Division’s Agricultural Marketing Service.


See United States Dairy Export Council.


See United States Department of Food and Agriculture.

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Refers to verifying the classification and allocation of milk as reported by handlers. This is a major function of the auditors who work for the California Milk Pooling Branch or any one of the eleven federal milk market administrator offices; most of the staff is involved in the auditing of handler reports for purposes of verification.

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Wet Solids

Condensed milk, skim milk, or whey may be referred to as wet solids, to distinguish from dry solids in the form of nonfat dry milk or dried whey powder.


The water and solids of milk that remain after cheese making and after the curd is removed. It contains about 93.3 percent water and 6.5 percent lactose, protein, minerals, enzymes; water–soluble vitamins and 0.2% fat.


The middle link in the food distribution chain. Wholesalers assemble relatively large quantities of product and resell in smaller lots to various users such as the food service trade, small retail food stores, jobbers, etc. Major, functions may include assembling, grading, warehousing, and order taking and delivery Customer service such as merchandising aids, credit, etc., also may be provided.

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The amount of product obtained from a fixed quantity of input material. Specific to pricing formulas used in the dairy industry, yield refers to how much butter, powder or cheese can be obtained from 100 pounds of milk. In California, the yields are 4.2 pounds of butter, 8.613 pounds of powder from milk testing 3.5% fat and 8.7% SNF. For milk testing 3.65% fat and 8.78% SNF, the cheese yield is 10.0.


Fermented milk, lowfat milk, or skim milk, sometimes protein–fortified. Fruit, flavors and sugars may be added. Milk solids content is commonly 15 percent. Most yogurt is high in protein and low in calories. Sometimes referred to as refrigerated yogurt to distinguish from frozen yogurt, an ice cream–like product.

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