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

Peterson sheds light on Farm Bill dairy provisions

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

House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson says the dairy provisions for the new farm bill are ready to go. During the super committee process, House and Senate Agriculture Committee leadership completed a farm bill draft, but the plan was never publically disclosed. During a stop at the National Farmers Union Annual Meeting, Peterson offered insight into a provision to help generate support for the dairy title. "At the last minute, we made a change that if you have less than four-million pounds of production, you're going to get a substantially reduced rate for the margin insurance on that first four million pounds," Peterson said. "That's going to offset the loss of the MILC program and that brought on board folks who were concerned about losing MILC." As a result, dairy producers with less than 325 cows will see this benefit. "It's not perfect, but it's a lot better than what we have now and we don't have any choice, we've got to change the dairy program and this is the best I've seen."

Support seen for dairy proposal
Minnesota Farmers Union President Doug Peterson said the farm bill proposal has been written behind closed doors. "I understand you have to have a certain amount of that for negotiations, but people need to know because we've had too much of the failure in the dairy industry in the past with the valley being too deep." Peterson said the provision highlighted by Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson will help take care of the smaller dairy operations. "That dairy provision needs to go forward for us to have some stability in dairy country."

MILC legislation introduced
Vermont Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders have introduced legislation to continue the Milk Income Loss Contract payment system at its current formula rate. MILC payments are scheduled to decline significantly in September. The bill would also renew authority for the MILC deficiency payments for another year. MILC is now scheduled to expire at the end of October.

No price collapse expected
Dairy farmers have responded to higher milk prices, adding more cows to their herds. Will that result in another price collapse, similar to what was seen in 2009? USDA dairy economist Milton Madison says no. "Our increase in the dairy herd is not quite as strong as 2008 and we saw a substantial drop in 2009 that we aren't expecting for 2013," said Madison. "We're probably going to avoid that big drop that happened last time."

Land O'Lakes year-end financials released
For fiscal year 2011, Land O'Lakes earned $182 million, a two percent improvement over 2010. Net sales hit a record $12.8 billion, up 15 percent. The Land O'Lakes seed and agronomy business saw a slight drop in earnings, but sales were up by ten percent. Net earnings for the feed business unit were hurt by unrealized hedging losses, but sales increased nearly 20 percent. The Land O'Lakes dairy division reports sales of $4.3 billion, up 17 percent from the previous year. The dairy division's pretax earnings of $28 million were down 44 percent from one year earlier.

AFBF commodity committees meet in California
The American Farm Bureau Federation Commodity Advisory Committees met in late February to discuss commodity-specific issues. Dean Christopherson of Nobles County represents Minnesota on the AFBF Dairy Advisory Committee. Peter Bakken of Rock County is on the AFBF Hay and Forage Advisory Committee.

New WDE facility has a new name
World Dairy Expo has given naming rights to New Holland for its new facility. The New Holland Trade Center is a 26,000 square foot indoor exhibit area and is the largest new exhibit area at WDE since the Exhibition Hall was opened in 1995. The new space will have room for 130 booths.

Day asked to judge at WDE
World Dairy Expo has named its slate of judges for 2012. Included on the list of 16 judges is Curtis Day of Burnsville, Minn. Day will be the official judge for the International Brown Swiss Show. World Dairy Expo will be held October 2-6 in Madison, Wis.

AURI has new communications director
Amanda Wanke is the new communications director for Minnesota's Agricultural Utilization Research Institute. Previously, Wanke held a similar post at Bethel University, St. Paul. Wanke also served as a press secretary to former Congressman Gil Gutknecht.

MAELC leader heading to Indy
Julie Tesch, who now serves as the executive director of the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council, has accepted a job with the National FFA Alumni Association as its new executive director. Tesch will relocate to Indianapolis, effective May 1.

Mortenson honored
Natasha Mortenson, who is an agricultural instructor and FFA advisor at Morris Area High School, Morris, Minn., is one of five teachers nationwide to receive a national ag literacy teaching award. The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the National Agriculture in the Classroom organization recognized Mortenson for her 'Agriculture in the City' project. This mentoring program partners her high school FFA students with inner-city students in Minneapolis. This program reaches nearly 1,000 metro students each year.

Muehlbauer is new department head
The University of Minnesota plant biology department has a new department head. Gary Muehlbauer replaces Kate VandenBosch, who is leaving the 'U' to become agriculture dean at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Muehlbauer is a professor of agronomy and plant genetics and conducts research on molecular genetics for wheat and barley. Muehlbauer has been part of the University of Minnesota plant genetics department since 1997.

Kubly passes
Minnesota State Senator Gary Kubly, 68, has passed away. Kubly was elected to the House in 1996 and the Senate in 2002. Kubly, who lived in Granite Falls, was a ranking minority member of the agriculture committee.

Trivia Challenge
Before taking over as Minnesota's agriculture commissioner, Dave Frederickson was the agricultural liaison for Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar. Frederickson is also a past president of the Minnesota and National Farmers Union organizations. That answers our last trivia question. For this week, what is the beef checkoff rate? 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]]


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