Declining Dairy: USDA plans to spend $23 million to help support dairy businesses

New numbers show dairy production was down during August, and that fell alongside supplies of milk.

USDA shows total cheese production was at 1.2 billion pounds, which is down ever-so-slightly from last year. American cheese was up on the year but down 2 percent from July. Butter was sitting at 140 million pounds, which is a decline of 2 percent from last year and down 12 percent from the month prior. Nonfat dairy milk fell more than 15 percent from 2022.

While production was down, USDA announced it will spend more than $20 million to help dairy businesses with innovation.

“They’re doing things like developing new innovative cheese products packaging lines, so that they can sell into new market opportunities. They’re investing in of course, things like turning byproducts from dairy production like whey into new value opportunities like vodka, for example. And, the bioeconomy is an important economy that I know many farmers across the country are looking at. Byproducts in dairy production into ethanol or also turning the byproduct or in the actual dairies themselves and things like turning manure into renewable energy through digesters or into important nutrients through fertilizer production as well,” said Jennifer Moffitt.

The money will go toward helping supporting small and mid-sized dairies with development, production, marketing, and distribution.

“There are four centers around the country, so that money will be split amongst those four centers, but here in the Midwest $7 million will be invested of that $23 million in the dairy business innovation initiative. Combined for the Midwest, with that seven million, will total about $40 million since 2019 that we’ve invested here in Midwest production for dairy innovation.”

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