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Bulletin

Article Title

Iowa blue cheese

Abstract

Iowa is an importer of cheese. In 1933 Iowa dairy plants manufactured 1,491,822 pounds of cheese.2 In the same year consumption is estimated to have been 10,254,397 pounds, using the 1933 United States Department of Agriculture figure of 4.15 pounds per capita and 1930 Iowa census figures as a basis of computation. In 1933 Iowa dairy plants produced 14.6 percent of the cheese consumed in the state. If this percentage could be greatly increased it would result in a larger and more diversified market for Iowa milk.

Production of cured cheese in Iowa has up to the present consisted almost entirely of the staple variety known as Cheddar or American cheese. Small production has not been the result either of lack of milk or of inability to produce an acceptable cheese. Rather it has been the inability of the average dairy plant to pay enough more for milk to be used for cheesemaking to divert the milk from other manufacturing uses, principally butter. The high value placed by the Iowa farmer upon skimmilk for feeding purposes when used as a supplement to corn in hog production has undoubtedly been one important factor in limiting the production of cheese. When milk is made into cheese the skimmilk is not available for feeding on the farm. Instead, whey, which is estimated to possess half the value of skimmilk, is available for the feeding operations. This and other factors require that the dairy plants must be able to pay a substantially higher price for milk fat for cheesemaking than for buttermaking if milk is to be available for the former. Expansion of cheese production in Iowa apparently depends upon some method of increasing the returns which can be obtained from cheese so that a relatively larger payment can be made to the milk producer.

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