There has been an increase of 13% of milk production in the last 10 years.
Today’s post is by Gayl Southard, Administrative Consultant at SafeSourcing, Inc.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, Americans consumed about 37 pounds of cheese per capita in 2017. Although that appears to be a large number, there is a 1.4 billion-pound cheese surplus. This is the largest cheese surplus in US history.
There has been an increase of 13% of milk production in the last 10 years. What dairy farmers didn’t realize was Americans are drinking far less milk. USDA statistics show Americans drank 149 pounds of milk in 2017, down from 247 in 1975. Milk suppliers turn the surplus milk into cheese as it’s less perishable and stays fresh longer. Studies show Americans are now in favor of more refined cheeses rather than processed cheese, although the market for mozzarella cheese is still the largest produced and consumed cheese in the US.
Imported cheese tends to cost more, so when consumers purchase these cheeses they tend to buy less. The growing surplus of American-made cheese and milk has resulted in a decrease in prices. Whole milk on average costs $15.12 per 100 pounds which is less than what dairy farmers need to break even. The Wall Street Journal reported hundreds of Wisconsin dairy farms closed in 2018.
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Samantha Raphelson, NPR Here & Now, 1/9/2019
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