Cheese Stockpile Hits 1.4 Billion-Pound Record

Dairy farms continue to produce an overabundance of milk—which is turned into cheese as a preservation method—as consumers turn to plant-based alternatives.


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This year, the stockpile of cheese in the United States hit an all-time high of 1.39 billion pounds—a six-percent increase from last year. The amount of cheese currently in US reserves is 16 percent higher than it was in 2016, when the government bought 11 million pounds of cheese for $20 million to bail out the failing dairy industry. “Milk production continues to trend up, and that milk has to find a home,” Lucas Fuess, director of market intelligence at dairy consulting firm HighGround Dairy, told media outlet The Washington Post. “The issue this year is that, with so much supply, it’s going to be tough for a lot of farmers to be profitable.” As dairy farmers continue to struggle to make profits while producing record amounts of unsellable milk—a number that hit an all-time high last year of 78 million gallons of excess milk which farmers dumped in fields and lagoons. This year, dairy brands has cut ties with milk suppliers to mitigate their losses, including Dean Foods, which ended its contracts with dozens of dairy farms in Pennsylvania in May. Meanwhile, the plant-based cheese industry continues to thrive and is expected to be worth $4 billion by 2024.