James L. Olson

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Because quality directly affects both price and consumption, one of the basic problems facing the butter industry in South Dakota is quality improvement. Under the price support program certain minimum quality standards have to be complied with before surplus butter can be sold to the government. One-fourth of the butter produced in South Dakota does not meet this minimum quality requirement, assuming that conditions have not changed since 1951-1952. Farm separated cream constituted 70.6 percent of the butterfat marketed in South Dakota in 1955. Cream is an important source of farm revenue in South Dakota because it yields a year around income. On a high proportion of the farms in South Dakota, dairying is only a sideline enterprise, and because of this, farmers tend "to let things go" and do not realize that quality improvement could be very beneficial to both themselves and their creamery. In periods when farm income is low, there tends to be an increase in the sale of cream, but because of the low income, quality is again slighted. Marketing and processing cream plays an important part in quality. The small producer is at a disadvantage in that he usually does not have the facilities to handle his cream properly. After separating, there is a good chance that this cream is going to stand without refrigeration. The bacteria count increases to such an extent, under these conditions, that cream deteriorates rapidly. If farmers would become quality conscious, and resort to better or more suitable methods of handling, the quality of their cream could be greatly improved. Such a method could possibly be the shipment of cream in plastic bags rather than cans. This method of handling cream was devised by the Galva Creamery Company, Galva, Illinois. This creamery manager was of the opinion that a better quality cream was obtained when bags rather than cans were used for cream procurement. The purpose of this study is to determine the feasibility of shipping cream in plastic bags rather than cans. Cost and quality differences of the two systems of cream procurement are to be com pared in order to determine if conversion from cans to plastic bag is warranted.

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South Dakota State College


Agricultural Economics