Dairy Report: Cheese Exports Decline and Tougher Dairy Regulations

December 19, 2018 11:14 AM

Milk prices have dropped significantly since 2014, declining nearly 40% over the past four years. Taking a closer look at the numbers, a report from the Wall Street Journal shows that the amount of cheese exported has also seen a recent downturn.

Currently, more than 1.4 billion lbs. of American, cheddar and other types of cheese is sitting in cold storage facilities across the nation. Cheese exports have suffered since Mexico and China instituted retaliatory tariffs on U.S. cheese and whey earlier this year.

Cheese shipments to Mexico in September where down more than 10% annually, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council Trade Group. Shipments to China were even lower, falling 63% annually.

On top of low milk prices and cheese exports, tougher dairy regulations may also add some stress for producers in Oregon.

In response to the debacle surrounding Lost Valley Farm in eastern Oregon, two bills have been proposed to the state legislature that could make Oregon dairy regulations the toughest in the nation.

The bills would apply to large dairies, those with more than 2,500 cows or herds with more than 1,000 animal units that don’t have access to seasonal pasture. Both bills would declare these types of dairies as industrial operations, not farming or agricultural, and thus require more oversight.

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