American Cheese Needs A Bailout

The United States faces a serious problem: a massive cheese glut.

The United States faces a serious problem: a massive cheese glut.

Ata-tur / Getty Images

The problem, in short: America has been producing way too much cheese lately, and nobody wants to buy it. More than a billion pounds of excess cheese sits locked away in cold storage, waiting for a buyer.

The chief executive of the National Milk Producers Federation — a group representing the dairy industry — has asked the U.S. government to buy $150 million worth of excess cheese, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“Dairy producers here in the United States need assistance,” the federation chief pleaded.

The amount of cheese in cold storage warehouses (the red line) is at a five-year high. For American-style cheese alone, there’s more than 750 million pounds in storage.

The amount of cheese in cold storage warehouses (the red line) is at a five-year high. For American-style cheese alone, there's more than 750 million pounds in storage.

USDA / Via ams.usda.gov

Meanwhile, the price of milk used to make cheese reached new lows in 2016 (also in red).

Meanwhile, the price of milk used to make cheese reached new lows in 2016 (also in red).

USDA / Via ams.usda.gov

Dairy farmers grew their herds two years ago, when milk prices were high. But now, thanks to increased milk production in Europe and a strong U.S. dollar, America’s cheese is less appealing overseas, the Journal reported.

Dairy farmers grew their herds two years ago, when milk prices were high. But now, thanks to increased milk production in Europe and a strong U.S. dollar, America's cheese is less appealing overseas, the Journal reported.

Via giphy.com

The U.S. government buys other agricultural products — including a recent purchase of up to $13 million of wild blueberries — to manage supply.

The U.S. government buys other agricultural products — including a recent purchase of up to $13 million of wild blueberries — to manage supply.

buuuulan.tumblr.com / Via giphy.com

Good weather and large harvests have also pushed down the price of other commodities, such as beef. Among other things, the results has been a flood of low-cost promotions at fast food chains.

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