The first half of 2007 brought major growth for Wisconsin's dairy industry. The State Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection says dairy exports experienced 89 percent dollar increase for the first six months of the year, which is a jump of almost $36 million. State Ag Secretary Rod Nilsestuen says that amounts to an extra 36 million more pounds of dairy products being shipped out of Wisconsin, compared to the same time period in 2006.
The Secretary says several factors have contributed to the increase. The first is growing demand in Asian markets, such as China and Japan. Second, the traditional Pacific dairy providers of Australia and New Zealand have been facing a drought, which has shifted supply demands to U.S. providers. Finally, the Wisconsin dairy industry has been modernizing the way it markets products produced here in the state.
Nilsestuen says Asian markets will continue to be a major focus for Wisconsin's dairy exports, which is why the Governor recently conducted a trade mission there.