MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin cheesemaking continues to be on the upswing, after six straight months of production declines ended in April.
According to new federal figures, the Badger State pumped out 235 million pounds of cheese in June -- 3.6 percent more than the same month a year ago.
The Brownfield Ag News Service says the increase reflects better quality in Wisconsin's first hay crop this year.
The state's higher output was much larger than the national increase of 0.5 percent in June, to 916 million pounds. Wisconsin also extended its national lead over second-place California, which had just a one-tenth percent jump in June to 195 million pounds.
Wisconsin had a big increase in its production of Italian cheeses, at just over 7 percent from a year. Cheddar and American cheeses were both down slightly.
For the first six months of the year, total U.S. cheese production was up 1.5 percent from the first half of 2013.
(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)