May 16, 2022 at 3:01 p.m.
More flexibility, better protection
Food supply chain needs attention
The National Milk Producers Federation is urging the Biden administration to take steps to ease supply chain disruptions. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, NMPF sought more collaboration to improve capacity at the ports and strengthen transparency throughout the supply chain.
USTR calls out EU non-tariff trade barrier
In its annual Special 301 Report, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office has highlighted the importance of preserving market access. In particular, the report cited the European Union’s misuse of geographical indicators to create non-tariff trade barriers. The EU is trying to eliminate competition by restricting the use of common food and beverage terms, such as parmesan, asiago or feta.
Mid-term elections may shake things up
It is a mid-term election year. The 435 seats in the House and 34 of the 100 seats in the Senate are up for a vote. The outcome of these elections will impact the future of agricultural policy, including the upcoming farm bill. Cook Political Report Senior Editor Dave Wasserman said mid-term elections are typically a referendum on the party in power. With Democrats leading in the House and Senate, there is a greater chance for change. “President Biden’s approval rating, on average, is 41%,” he said. “The fancy, political science term for that is wipe-out territory. It’s not possible for the party in power in Congress to hold the majority when the approval rating is that low.” Wasserman anticipates as many as 100 new members of Congress in 2023. “That means there’s a lot of education for farm groups in advance of the 2023 farm bill,” Wasserman said.
FAPRI adjusts ag outlook
The Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute has updated its baseline economic outlook to reflect the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on markets. This report calls for higher commodity prices, higher production expenses and higher food costs than reported in the March report. FAPRI is forecasting 2022 net farm income to be on par with last year with higher crop and livestock prices offsetting the increase in expenses and the drop in government payments. Assuming a return to more normal conditions next year, FAPRI projects lower prices for many commodities and lower net farm income.
Biden reverses Trump environmental regs
The Biden administration is reinstating a series of environmental regulations that were changed during the Trump presidency. In 2020, the process for environmental reviews was streamlined. The Biden team said the restoration of these environmental safeguards will provide regulatory certainty. House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member G.T. Thompson disagreed, saying the action will hurt farmers and their ability to do their jobs.
Battling bovine belching
Elanco Animal Health is getting the U.S. licensing rights to a feed additive developed by a Dutch company that is supposed to reduce cattle methane emissions. On-farm trials in 14 countries show the additive reduced the greenhouse gas emissions by 30% in dairy cows. The total is even higher in beef cows. Elanco still needs regulatory approval for this product.
Sargento purchases Baker Cheese
Sargento Foods has acquired St. Cloud, Wisconsin-based Baker Cheese Factory for an undisclosed amount. Baker Cheese produces mozzarella string cheese that is sold in all 50 states.
Chobani drops new dairy product
Chobani ended production of its ultra-filtered milk product three months after its launch. In a statement, company officials said it “would be best to focus our resources and prioritize our core products, like yogurt, coffee creamers and oatmilk.”
WI fast food chain hits the toad
The Culver’s restaurant chain is making Wisconsin part of its new road show. The new advertising campaign is called From Wisconsin With Love and features a 17-city food truck tour. Culver’s cheese curds and frozen custard will be distributed during stops, including Indianapolis, Phoenix, Atlanta and Tampa. Culver cofounder Craig Culver will join the tour on nine stops.
FSA state committee named
The Wisconsin Farm Service Agency State Committee has been appointed. Joshua Tranel of Hazel Green is the new chairperson. The balance of the committee is made up of Clara Hedrich of Chilton, Tina Hinchley of Cambridge, Joe Koch of Wilson and Heidi Randall of Cambria.
UWRF honors Ginther
The University of Wisconsin-River Falls College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences has presented its Wisconsin Distinguished Agriculturalist Award to Francis Ginther. Ginther spent 30 years as a 4-H youth development agent, with the majority of that time in Pierce County.
Offices installed for Equity Livestock
Adam Quandahl of Waukon, Iowa, is the new chairman of Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales. David Wilke of Ripon is vice chair and Steve Schleis of Kewaunee is secretary/treasurer.
DBA/Edge Co-op hires Haen
Melissa Haen is the new marketing and events manager for the Dairy Business Association and Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative. Most recently, Haen had a similar role for the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce.
Country organizations within Wisconsin Farm Bureau and Wisconsin Farmers Union hosted informational meetings last month about a proposed Dairy Revitalization Plan. The state organizations were not part of these meetings.
Bovine somatotropin may be better known as bST. That answers our last trivia question. For this week’s trivia, when did June Dairy Month begin? 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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