THE CURRENT FARM BILL WAS EXTENDED for one year. Programs in the 2018 rendition of the bill, including the Dairy Margin Coverage program, remain in effect until September 30, 2024. National Milk Producers Federation’s Paul Bleiberg expects a new farm bill will be voted on in the first quarter of 2024.

DAIRY SUPPORTER AND HOUSE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE chair, U.S. Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson of Pennsylvania, was diagnosed with cancer but plans to continue working through treatment.

THE CLASS III MILK FUTURES REMAIN below $18 per hundredweight until April or May of next year, according to early December trading on the CME. Class IV futures fare a little better, holding above $19 per hundredweight for all 12 months of 2024.

U.S. MILK PRODUCTION FELL FURTHER in October and totaled 18.71 billion pounds, down 0.5% from a year earlier. Output grew in the Mideast, Midwest, and Northeast amid cooler fall temperatures but was down in the Northwest, the Southwest, and in California.

LATE LAST MONTH, a dispute submitted by the U.S. challenging Canada’s follow-through on terms set in the United States-Mexico-Cananda Agreement (USMCA) failed in a two-to-one vote by the dispute settlement panel. The International Dairy Foods Association called it a “surprising setback for U.S. dairy.” Read more on page 628.

THE FEDERAL MILK MARKETING ORDER hearing resumed on November 27 in Carmel, Ind., then moved to Zionsville, Ind., the following week. The process is now on recess until January 2024.

THE FMMO HEARING WAS ORIGINALLY PROJECTED to finish by mid-October. This delay in the timeline means any changes to the FMMO are not likely to take effect until at least early 2025, noted American Farm Bureau Federation’s Chief Economist Roger Cyan.

CHEESE CONSUMPTION REACHED A NEW HIGH in 2022. Americans ate 40.14 pounds per capita last year, up more than half a pound from 2021. That is more than double the cheese consumption from 40 years ago, when Americans were eating just under 20 pounds per year.

MOZZARELLA WAS THE MOST CONSUMED variety of cheese, at 12.55 pounds per person. Cheddar followed at 11.37 pounds per capita.

OVERALL DAIRY CONSUMPTION ON A MILK-FAT BASIS was 653 pounds per person in 2022. That was the second highest total on record, only following last year’s 661 pounds per person. Annual consumption is up over 100 pounds per person since data collection began in 1975.