September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.

Fate of Farm Policy is in hands of Super Committee

By Don Wick- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

House and Senate Agriculture Committee leadership are working on policy recommendations to submit to the joint deficit reduction super committee. The commodity title has been a hurdle but dairy policy reform has not been the issue. "We've got that worked out as best you can," said Rep. Collin Peterson, "There's still outliers with half of California against it and half of Minnesota and Wisconsin against it. But it's as good of consensus as you can get in dairy." The plan includes margin insurance and a supply management concept. Price supports and the MILC programs are eliminated. "It modernizes dairy policy and moves us to a more market-oriented system that we need to do and it should help us in the export markets," said Peterson. The super committee must come up with a $1.2 trillion deficit reduction plan by Nov. 23. If an agreement is not made by Thanksgiving or if Congress is unable to pass the plan by Christmas, automatic spending cuts will be triggered.

It may be a 2011 Farm Bill
The four principals in the 2012 Farm Bill process, Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member Pat Roberts, House Agriculture Committee Chair Frank Lucas and Ranking Member Collin Peterson, are attempting to put together a bipartisan plan for the deficit reduction super committee. The current farm bill doesn't expire for 11 months, but American Farm Bureau Federation senior policy specialist Mary Kay Thatcher expects action this year. "I give it a 75, 80 percent chance that the farm bill will be written and done by the time the super committee and the House and Senate vote on Dec. 23; we could be looking at a 2011 Farm Bill instead of 2012."

Klobuchar sees need for policy reform
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar said the dairy industry has seen its share of struggles and need a reinvigorated dairy policy strategy. "So many small dairy farms in Minnesota expect a better safety net or we're going to lose all of them and it'll be big farms in California producing all the milk and that's the last thing we want," Klobuchar said. "I'm working with everyone in Senate leadership to see if we can do something smart for dairy."

Trucking dispute ends
The U.S. and Mexico have resolved the cross-border trucking dispute. As a result, Mexico has lifted the retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products. The U.S. dairy industry had faced tariffs of 20 to 25 percent "restricting access to our best foreign market," said Tom Suber, president, U.S. Dairy Export Council.

Nationally, milk production grows nearly two percent
U.S. milk production in September was up 1.9 percent from a year ago. Production in the first nine months this year is also up 1.9 percent. Minnesota milk production last month was down less than one percent from a year ago as production-per-cow declined. Accumulated milk production in Minnesota for the first nine months of this year was down one percent from a year ago.

Churning more butter
According to the USDA Dairy Products Report, U.S. butter production was at 137.6 million pounds in September. That's up 21 percent from last year. Year-to-date, butter production is up nearly 17 percent. Cheese production edged higher in September but is still below the levels of one year ago.

Food Price Index decline
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, its food price index is at an 11-month low. The FAO said the October price index declined four percent from September. Lower prices for cereal grains, vegetable oils, sugar and dairy products are responsible for the drop in the food price index.

Troendle is on National FFA Officer Team
For the first time since 1986, a Minnesotan is a member of the National FFA Officer team. Jason Troendle of St. Charles is the new National FFA Secretary. "Running up on that stage and giving that hug to all my fellow teammates, it's just an experience I will never forget. Immediately, what ran through my mind is how over the years, starting off as a young member, all the different little stops and the different trails that have led me today to where I am. To all those people that have been impacting my life that have gotten me this far. I'm so very, very blessed and very, very thankful to be here. I'm super, super excited for next year." Troendle is a student at Bethel College, majoring in economics and environmental studies but will take the next year off to help lead the National FFA Organization. The new National FFA president is Ryan Best of New Mexico. National regional vice presidents are Alicia Hodnik of Wisconsin, Cain Thurmond of Georgia and Seth Pratt of Idaho.

Co-op 100
Based on 2010 revenues of $25.3 billion, CHS, Inc. has topped the National Cooperative Bank 'Co-op 100' list again. Last year, the nation's top 100 revenue earning cooperatives posted revenues totaling approximately $194 billion. Land O'Lakes maintained second place, with 2010 revenues of $11.1 billion. Dairy Farmers of America also made the top five.

Dippin' Dots files for bankruptcy
The Kentucky-based Dippin' Dots ice cream company is seeking federal bankruptcy protection. The company's lender sued Dippin' Dots earlier this year, claiming loans valued at more than $11 million are in default. Foreclosure proceedings have started, forcing Dippin' Dots to seek Chapter 11 reorganization while it attempts to refinance the debt. Dippin' Dots bills itself as the 'Ice Cream of the Future.'

AVMA recognizes Johnson
The American Veterinary Medical Association has presented South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson its Advocacy Award. The AVMA said Johnson has championed legislation to protect animal health and welfare.

FLAG Board adds three new faces
Farmer's Legal Action Group has appointed three new board members, Sarah Vogel, Robert Lee and Thom Petersen. Vogel returns to the FLAG board having worked on the discrimination class action lawsuit on behalf of Native American farmers and ranchers. Vogel is a former North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner and now serves as a lawyer in Bismarck. Lee is a Hmong American FLAG client who operates a vegetable farm in St. Michael. Petersen is the government relations director for the Minnesota Farmers Union.

MN auctioneer represented in world competition
New York Mills, Minn. auctioneer Mitch Barthel has qualified for the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship. Barthel was sponsored in the regional contest by the Perham Stockyards. The world championship will be held June 16 in California.

Trivia Challenge
'Market Fresh' is the theme for the 2012 World Dairy Expo. That answers our last trivia question. University of Illinois Extension dairy specialist Mike Hutjens will be featured at the Midwest Dairy Expo. For this week, where did Hutjens begin his collegiate teaching career? We'll have the answer in the next edition of Dairy Star.
Don Wick is a partner and broadcaster for the Red River Farm Network, based in Grand Forks, N.D. He was the 2004 National Farm Broadcaster of the Year. Don and his wife, Kolleen, have two adult sons, Tony and Sam, and two grandchildren, Aiden and Piper. Don Wick can be reached at [email protected].[[In-content Ad]]


You must login to comment.

Top Stories

Today's Edition



27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

To Submit an Event Sign in first

Today's Events

No calendar events have been scheduled for today.