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AFBF Wants Cheese Formulas Updated

American Farm Bureau says the Federal Milk Marketing Order system’s formula to price milk needs to be updated to better reflect today’s cheese prices.

“To get federal milk pricing formals updated is as close as it gets to an act of God.”   

Chief economist John Newton tells Brownfield the spread between block cheddar cheese and barrel cheddar cheese since 2017 has widened to record levels and adversely impacted the price farmers receive for their milk.

“We have surplus barrel cheese and increased demand for blocks and that’s let to that widespread.” 

Export demand for block cheese continues to grow as well as white whey which makes barrel cheese the by-product.  Newton says there either needs to be a policy change or more block production to right-size the spread…

“Which has ultimately cost farmers around $6.5 million over the last two-and-a-half years.” 

Newton says pricing formals haven’t been updated in more than a decade and Farm Bureau members are working to improve and update the system.

--Brownfield AgNews