Politico reports there is no guarantee the U.S. Department of Agriculture will spend all $20 million pledged last week to buy cheddar cheese surplus supplies. That’s because the first cheese purchase announced earlier this year fell short. USDA had pledged $20 million in purchases in August to offset lower global dairy markets. However, USDA only spent $7 million on those purchases of surplus cheese. Politico says a USDA spokesperson explained that the window of opportunity to make purchases — August 23rd until September 30th — was shorter than normal because the department had to obligate the funds before the end of the fiscal year, and it happened to be a busy time for dairy processors. So USDA evaluated the market’s status and announced additional purchases were necessary. Dairy producers are desperate for short-term relief as revenue has dropped 35 percent over the past two years amid a global oversupply.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.