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

Questions remain for industry's Margin Protection Program

In a news release detailing the development of online resources for the new farm program, USDA shed light on the farm bill implementation schedule. For the dairy industry, these web-based tools for the margin protection program will be available in late summer. Enrollment for the new dairy program will also happen during that same time period. National Milk Producers Federation senior vice president Chris Galen expects the program will be up and running by September 1. "I think the big question is when does the actual insurance coverage begin?" responded Galen, "That's still an open question on when the coverage starts, but it does look like the sign-up period will begin with an open enrollment on September 1." Few details are available about the new dairy program, but Galen says the overall goal is being accomplished. "We've been working on this for four-plus years developing a new safety net for dairy farmers and regardless of the particulars and timing, the overall philosophy of getting away from a price support program that was tied to a price that is no longer relevant in this century toward a margin-based program has been NMPF's major contribution to the process."

Immigration reform needs to be
South Dakota Congresswoman, Kristi Noem, isn't sure if the House will take up immigration reform, but says the issue needs to be addressed. "We have talked from the beginning that immigration reform should be done in a step-by-step basis. Our borders need to be secured. That should be a priority." Noem said many aspects of agriculture utilize immigrant workers and fixing needs to be done on the processes to get them here. "The process is cumbersome, extremely expensive and very difficult to maneuver."

Milk prices expected to level out
According to the monthly dairy market report from the National Milk Producers Federation and Dairy Management Incorporated, milk prices are expected to plateau during much of the second half of 2014 at about the highest level ever seen before this year. Strong domestic and international demand is supporting milk futures. A decline in feed costs is also positive news for dairy farmers.

Dairy products may face additional import duties
According to USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, milk, cheese and butter imports may soon trigger additional duties. These tariffs are permitted under World Trade Organization rules if import volumes exceed certain defined trigger levels or if prices fall below predetermined trigger levels.

Japan deals with butter shortage
In addition to its previous commitments, Japan plans to purchase an extra 7,000 metric tons of butter this year. The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries wants to stabilize prices due to a domestic dairy shortage. This additional imports are on top of global trade minimum access requirements of 137,000 tons in milk equivalent purchases. Japanese dairy industry leaders are forecasting tight supplies of milk for butter and non-fat dry milk for the balance of the year.

BOAH will no longer offer Official ID tags at no charge
In the past year, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health distributed over 200,000 official animal identification ear tags to veterinarians and producers. The BOAH is phasing out the distribution of free plastic National Uniform Ear-Tagging System (41) tags and the electronic Animal Identification Number 840 tags. Once the BOAH supply is exhausted, these tags can be purchased at Leedstone.

Buhr appointed dean at U of M College of Ag
The interim dean of the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences has been appointed as dean. Brian Buhr has been the interim dean since last August.

Water Quality Advisory Committee appointed
Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner, Dave Frederickson, has appointed 15 citizens to serve on an advisory committee for the Minnesota Agriculture Water Quality Certification Program. The advisory committee members are: Douglas Albin, farmer and member of the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council; Duane Bakke, Fillmore County Commissioner; Dennis Berglund, CEO and general manager, Centrol Crop Consulting; Nathan Collins, district representative, Minnesota Farm Bureau; Elizabeth Croteau-Kallestad, executive director, Cannon River Watershed Partnership; Dean Fairchild, plant nutrition and protection specialist; Dennis Fuchs, district administrator, Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District; Kirby Hettver, farmer and member of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association board; Jim Kleinschmit, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy; Doug Peterson, president, Minnesota Farmers Union; Kris Sigford, water quality director, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy; Joe Smentek, director of environmental affairs, Minnesota Soybean; Tony Thompson, farmer and member of North Heron Lake Game Producers Association; James Riddle, supervisor, Winona County Soil and Water Conservation District; Bill Zurn, farmer and past president of Minnesota Soybean Growers Association.

Durand takes post on Peterson's staff
Adam Durand will serve as the legislative director for Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson. Durand has been serving as a senior legislative aide, specializing in agriculture issues, for Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Agri-Growth adds Delvo to staff
Minnesota Agri-Growth has hired Mary Kay Delvo as its new director of membership and development. Most recently, Delvo was a program developer/consultant for the Minnesota Youth Institute at the University of Minnesota CFANS. Previously, Delvo was the director of advocacy and public policy with the University of Minnesota Alumni Association.

Minnesota FFA names leadership
development coordinator
As of July 1, Lavyne Rada of Grove City, Minn., will join the Minnesota FFA team as the leadership development coordinator. Rada, who is now the FFA advisor/ag instructor at Hutchinson High School, will be working directly with current Minnesota FFA State Officers and members of Team AgEd.

Lyons to open D.C. office for Faegre Baker and Daniels
Dave Lyons is joining the Minneapolis-based Faegre Baker and Daniels law firm. Lyons will open the firm's agricultural issues consulting and lobbying practice in Washington, DC. Lyons has been the vice president of government relations for Louis Dreyfus Commodities since 1988. Previously, Lyons was an executive assistant to Agriculture Secretary, Richard Lyng.

Trivia challenge
The tradition of June Dairy Month began in 1937. That answers our last trivia question. In 1937 and 1938, this monthlong celebration took place from June 10 to July 10. For this edition, what was this celebration called in those first two years? We'll have the answer in the next edition of Dairy Star.
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