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.
With a trade war looming, commodity prices swooning, and the dairy industry in full-blown crisis, a growing number of American farmers are embracing a controversial set of farm policies that would manage the country’s commodity production and stabilize crop prices. No paywall
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Tuesday that enrollment is now open for the “new and improved” Dairy Margins Protection Program, a dairy insurance program run by USDA. The program has a poor reputation among many dairy farmers, who believe funds from an earlier iteration of the program were misallocated. No paywall
USDA announced Friday that it will likely establish a Federal Milk Marketing Order for the state of California. The agency will have a referendum for California dairy producers from April 2 to May 5, during which two-thirds of producers have to vote in favor of the FMMO for it to become official.
Pizza Hut says it will add 25 percent more cheese to its personal pizzas as part of a deal with the administrators of the dairy checkoff. The deal comes as dairy farmers are facing national overproduction of milk and falling prices.
Negotiations over the new NAFTA could run far beyond the March 31 deadline, and perhaps into 2019, said the Washington Post, citing "industry leaders and others close to the negotiations," including the head of Farmers for Free Trade. The U.S. farm and agribusiness sector is pressing loudly for a new pact and against President Trump's threat to withdraw from the treaty.
Dairy Farmers of America, the 20-year-old product of the largest merger in dairy cooperative history, has become a vertically integrated “corporation” that enjoys the legal benefits of a cooperative while increasingly serving its own bottom line rather than its member farmers, says Washington Monthly.
The two top officers of the New York Farm Bureau told Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue that trade and immigration are the top ag issues in the Empire State, reports the Glens Falls Post-Star. "We are swimming in milk," said vice president Eric Ooms, placing the blame on Canadian barricades to U.S. dairy.