Ag News: Mexico & U.S. Dairy Exports & USDA $10M for Specialty Crops
**Mexico has long been U.S. dairy’s largest export market.
According to www.dairyherd.com, cheese in particular is a staple of the Mexican diet, but the country has been unable to increase milk production to meet its growing demand.
Daily Dairy Report analyst, Monica Ganley says even with the immense challenges of the pandemic, Mexico is still a compelling opportunity for U.S. dairy exporters.
She says the pandemic deeply affected the Mexican economy, which slowed U.S. dairy exports to Mexico temporarily.
**The USDA announced that $10 million is available for competitive grant funding in the 2021 Specialty Crop Multi-State Program.
Bruce Summers, administrator for USDA’s Ag Marketing Service, says by working across state lines, grant recipients can share resources and collaboratively address challenges for specific crops.
Grants are awarded to state ag departments to fund multi-state projects that address food safety, plant pests and disease, research, and marketing and promotion for specialty crops.
**Water shortages from drought are making for smaller lemons this year. Yet the market looks brighter for the citrus fruit due to recovering demand for lemons in restaurants and food service businesses.
The Saticoy Lemon Association in Ventura County, California says food service orders for lemons are nearing 90% of pre-pandemic levels.
Last year, amid widespread restaurant closures, lemon demand was down by nearly 66%.