The U.S. still has an oversupply of milk, and the Biden administration isn’t planning to address the root causes soon, according to a report in Politico.
Milk supplies are high and prices have remained mostly steady, even though supply chain difficulties are causing spot price increases in some areas. The average national retail price of milk is $3.69, just three cents higher that at the start of this year, Politico reports. The problems are consolidation among dairy farms, which has favored larger and more efficient producers, and less demand, caused in part by some consumers turning toward plant-based milk substitutes.
The Biden administration hasn’t signaled much willingness to address the consolidation situation. A White House official told Politico that they’re more concerned with concentration in the meat and poultry industry, which has arguably had a greater effect on consumers in terms of higher prices.
The administration is also caught between the competing concerns of small and large dairy producers. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is a former head of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, and large dairy concerns often make large political contributions. Past efforts to impose a production quota on dairy farmers, as Canada and other nations do, have been with opposition from large producers.