Last week, seven corporate agriculture interest groups sued the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to halt the extension of a public comment period on a proposed mega-dairy expansion in Winona County, Minnesota. The suit highlights broader efforts by agribusiness to silence opposition from rural residents who speak out against large concentrated animal feeding operations in their communities. (No paywall)
Dairy farmers have lost at least $1 billion due to the trade war, so the USDA should revise its bailout plan, said the National Milk Producers Federation on Wednesday. The bailout, announced in August, allotted just $127 million — the equivalent of 1 cent per pound of milk — to dairy farmers.
The U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement that will succeed NAFTA includes the elimination of Canada’s Class 7 dairy price system and greater U.S. access to the Canadian dairy market than offered in the TPP free trade agreement, said senior administration officials late Sunday.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue described a potential tri-national agreement on a new NAFTA as the start of a domino effect in rewriting U.S. relations with trading partners around world. "I would love to have a deal today with Canada to put NAFTA back together," said Perdue during a C-SPAN interview in which he called for reform of Canada's supply-management system."
Dairy is not the only agricultural dispute between the United States and Canada, but it is the biggest one, according to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Senior U.S. officials say the new NAFTA must include greater U.S. dairy access to Canada.
With negotiators facing an informal deadline of Friday for agreement on the new NAFTA, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada will reject U.S. proposals to dismantle its supply management system, said Canadian Press on Wednesday.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that it will buy $50 million worth of fluid milk for distribution to food assistance programs. The purchases would mark the first time that the agency has ever bought fluid milk under a 1935 law that enables the federal government to support farmers by buying up surpluses.
The USDA announced a new insurance policy on Wednesday to shield dairy farmers from unexpected declines in revenue from milk sales. The insurance “will bring an extra level of support to a dairy sector that has been battered by losses over the past four years,” said the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The U.S. dairy industry launched the “Got Jobs?” campaign on Monday to highlight the importance of the dairy sector and build support for dairy exports, which account for about 14 percent of U.S. milk production.