Get your cheese on


Following Prince's death, the song Purple Rain again surged to the top of the US charts. Another item that is also at its highest point since the mid 1980s is the US cheese supply. Thanks to a surge in imports from the European Union along with an increase in domestic production, the US is sitting on its largest cheese reserves since 1984.

European dairy prices are currently so low that the U.S. has become the number one customer for some products. According to the European Commission, US imports of EU butter doubled last year and are 17 percent higher for cheese. The abundant supply means that cheese prices are falling for consumers.

While low dairy prices may be good for cheese-lovers' pocketbooks, they are disastrous for farmers, who say they are on the verge of failing. Average EU raw milk prices have declined to their lowest levels since 2010. "U.S. prices have also started falling," according to the Bloomberg report, "with cheddar on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trading this week at a five-year low." Have you noticed a drop in cheese prices where you live?

Photo of Raclette with boiled potatoes and quick pickles from Cowgirl Creamery Cooks by Sue Conley and Peggy Smith

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