June 14, 2022 at 2:29 p.m.

Holding Canada accountable

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

    Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack met with his Canadian counterpart during the G7 meetings in Germany. Vilsack discussed a dispute panel’s enforcement of the dairy provisions in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. “I had a very frank and specific conversation with her about how disappointed we were in the Canadian response,” Vilsack said. The National Milk Producers Federation and U.S. Dairy Export Council asked the U.S. government to levy retaliatory tariffs on Canada after Ottawa refused to meet its signed treaty obligations of the USMCA. “I’m hopeful the nature of my conversation with the Canadian minister underscores the significant level of disappointment,” he said. “I hope Canada is capable of reading between the lines of what’s next.”

WTO members asked to address food security
    The World Trade Organization will meet for a ministerial conference in mid-June. Ahead of the event, the WTO’s director general said agriculture needs to address the potential food crisis, but gaps remain between key trading partners.

Next farm bill hearing scheduled
    The Senate Agriculture Committee continues their review of the current farm bill in preparation for 2023. The next farm bill listening session will be Friday, June 17, at Arkansas State University. The event will be livestreamed on the Senate Agriculture Committee website.
Ukrainian farm delegation visits Minnesota
    A group of Ukrainian farmers, including Igor Novytskyi, traveled across Minnesota and Iowa last week meeting with Land O’Lakes, Corteva Agriscience, the United States Department of Agriculture and others. Five to six meetings each day covered the many different needs for Ukrainian farmers in the war. “We talked about critical imports for our farmers to help with inputs,” Novytskyi said. “We also talked about pickup trucks because all of our farmers gave pickup trucks to the army. We’ve bought lots of them in Europe, but Europe is almost out of those, but the U.S. has good supplies.” Novytskyi farms 17,000 acres of wheat, corn, barley, sunflowers and soybeans in central Ukraine and operates the largest milling plant in the country. The United Nations has met with Russia to discuss unblocking ports and restarting grain exports in the Black Sea. Novytskyi does not want the UN to cancel sanctions on Russia to reach the agreement. “Nobody will accept this, because Russia did so much bad to Ukraine,” Novytskyi said. “We hope and pray to God we can win the war and unblock it ourselves.”

Real estate loan balances increasing
    Farm real estate debt at commercial banks grew modestly in the first quarter while production loans remain steady. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City said real estate loan balances increased at the fastest pace in nearly four years and drove an overall increase in agriculture lending. The Federal Reserve Bank said farm loan performance continued to improve but credit needs may rise as higher input costs weigh on profit margins.

Farm co-ops seen as an option for broadband
    A new report from CoBank argues agricultural cooperatives are in an ideal position to deliver high-speed broadband to farmers. This move could create a new revenue source for farm supply co-ops and help offset the volatile crop input business. CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange infers the expansion of broadband in rural America will increase adoption of precision agriculture technology.

Labeling law
    The Food and Drug Administration is considering guidance for the labeling of dairy and plant-based drinks. A month ago, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf indicated the agency was moving quickly to address the use of ‘milk’ label on plant-based alternatives. A bipartisan group of lawmakers is now asking the White House not to change the regulations for ‘soymilk’ and other plant-based drinks. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Utah Sen. Mike Lee are leading this effort.

Sign up now for container assistance program
    United States Department of Agriculture is taking applications for its new Commodity Container Assistance Program. This program provides funding for exporters to reduce the cost of sourcing containers at ports in Oakland and Seattle. The Farm Service Agency will make monthly direct payments to agricultural businesses and cooperatives based on the number of containers utilized between March 1 and Dec. 31 of this year.

Scoular expansion
    Scoular has expanded its feed blending facility in Jerome, Idaho. Scoular will begin producing bypass protein products with its new partner, Papillon Agricultural Company, in June. Papillon currently manufactures bypass protein products in New York, Indiana and Wisconsin and will expand into the Pacific Northwest.

Name change for MOSES
    The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, known as MOSES, has announced a name change. The organization is now known as Marbleseed. The group’s tagline is, “Farmer-led, rooted in organic.”

Daubenberger to lead MnDOT
    Gov. Tim Walz appointed Nancy Daubenberger to serve as the commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Daubenberger has worked for MnDOT for 22 years, including stepping in since the departure of former Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher.

Resler succeeds Preisler
    The Minnesota Pork Producers Association announced Jill Resler is the new CEO. Resler has been with the organization since 2009 and served as chief operating officer for the last five years. Resler succeeds David Preisler, who retired after 28 years as CEO.
Veteran farm broadcaster passes
    Former farm broadcaster Col. Jon Phillips has died. Phillips, 81, also had a distinguished career trading commodities and as a livestock auctioneer.

Trivia challenge
    Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia is the scientific term for a brain freeze associated with eating something cold, like ice cream. That answers our last trivia question. For this week’s trivia, what is the term for a heifer who is twin to a bull and cannot reproduce?  We will have the answer in the next edition of Dairy Star.
    Don Wick is owner/broadcaster for the Red River Farm Network, based in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Wick has been recognized as the National Farm Broadcaster of the Year and served as president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting. Don and his wife, Kolleen, have two adult sons, Tony and Sam, and five grandchildren, Aiden, Piper, Adrienne, Aurora and Sterling.


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