Take Two for January 23, 2013

California cheesemakers and dairy farmers at odds over milk pricing

California Poised To Surpass Wisconsin As Top U.S. Cheese Producer

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

David Snyder hand cuts a wheel of cheddar cheese at the Fiscalini Cheese Co. October 26, 2006 in Modesto, California. California is poised to surpass Wisconsin as the top U.S. cheese producer by churning out 2.14 billion pounds of cheese last year, just shy of Wisconsin's 2.4 billion pounds.

California's cheese makers have benefited from milk prices lower than the federal level, but the state's dairy farmers say they can't sustain the low prices any longer, and they want the Department of Food and Agriculture to raise the price they're paid for their milk.

It would be good news for California dairy farmers, but local cheese makers argue they'll lose their competitive advantage. Meanwhile, other cheese making states like Wisconsin are waiting in the wings to try and pick up business from California


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