John R. Block Reports from Washington January 29, 2020 “Milk”

           Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

The subject that I want to focus on today is milk.  We keep reading about how many dairy farms have sold their cows and closed their barns.  We can only hope that the new USMCA on trade will help our dairy sales to Canada.

But I found some information in the Wall Street Journal about milk that is very interesting.  In the last 4 years, milk sales have fallen by 300 million gallons.  What’s going on?  The Coca Cola Company and dairy producers joined to create Fairlife, a company pioneering the sale of ultra-filtered milk which has 50% more protein and 50% less sugar than regular milk.

In five years, their sales jumped from zero to $450 million.  Other dairy companies are jumping in the market trying to catch up.  Ultra-filtered milk sales are up 30% in the last year.  The product has 8 grams of sugar and 13 grams of protein per serving.  Regular milk has 12 grams of sugar and 8 grams of protein.  Customers want more protein and less sugar, and they don’t care much about the level of fat.  Whole milk sales are up 2.5% in the last year.  Non-fat and reduced fat sales are down 4.4%.  Consumer tastes are changing.  I think customers are always looking for something different.  Ultra-filtered milk is not cheap.  It costs about twice as much as regular milk.  The “Ultrafiltration” removes the sugar found in regular milk.

Certainly, the dairy industry is concerned about competition from plant-based products that use the name “milk,” like almond milk.  Regular milk sales have been falling by a little over 100 million gallons per year.  But plant-based milk has been coming up about 20 million per year.  You can see that plant-based milk is not our only problem.  The dairy industry has its challenges, but if we can be creative maybe that can give us a lift.

One other subject – impeachment.  President Trump is not going to be impeached.  He continues to take actions that lift our economy and create jobs, while the Democrats waste time on impeachment.  If they don’t like him or his policies, there is an election in about 9 months.

Until next week, this John Block reporting from Washington, D.C.  If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to www.johnblockreports.com.