May 31, 2022 at 1:28 p.m.

Holding Canada accountable for USMCA obligations

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

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met with his Canadian counterpart during the G-7 meetings in Germany and voiced disappointment in Canada’s response to a dispute panel’s ruling 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. Vilsack responded to this effort. “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.”

New Zealand challenges Canadian dairy policy
    The United States is not the only country challenging Canadian dairy policy. New Zealand is moving forward with a trade dispute against Canada. New Zealand claims Canada is not complying with the Trans-Pacific Partnership by limiting market access.

Dairy Risk Management participation varies
    In 2021, Wisconsin had the most Dairy Revenue Protection policies with 1,466. That was followed by Minnesota with 757 policies. So far this year, both states have had significant declines. The number of DRP policies in Minnesota is down 143 and Wisconsin is down 45. American Farm Bureau Market Intel said a portion of these declines may be linked to a temporary shutdown of the component pricing option in some regions. Wisconsin has the highest concentration of farms enrolled in Dairy Margin Coverage with 4,474. Minnesota is next at 1,834. From 2021 to 2022, both states had a drop in DMC participation. Wisconsin declined 293 farms and Minnesota dropped 133. The Upper Midwest dominates participation in the Livestock Gross Margin-Dairy policies. Last year, Wisconsin had 872 policies and Minnesota had 268.  

USDA names nominee for Under Secretary of Trade
    The United States Department of Agriculture’s nominee for the Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agriculture is Alexis Taylor, the director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Agriculture groups have been anxious to see the position filled. “We are extremely pleased that the Biden administration has selected such a well-qualified nominee,” said Jim Mulhern, president/CEO, National Milk Producers Federation. U.S. Dairy Export Council President/CEO Krysta Harden also praised Taylor for her leadership abilities and experience. “The Senate should act quickly to confirm this outstanding nominee,” Harden said. The USDA Under Secretary for Trade is a liaison from the USDA to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Merger moratorium
    A bill has been introduced in Congress that calls for an immediate moratorium on acquisitions and mergers in the food and agriculture sector. This proposal would also create a government commission to oversee antitrust enforcement. Democratic senators Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Jon Tester and Jeff Merkley are working together on this legislation.

Untangling the supply chain
    The U.S. dairy industry is untangling the supply chain crisis. “Within the last year, because of the imbalance of how people were buying things, companies that shipped products from Asia unload those ships and sent them back empty,” said Chris Galen, senior vice president of member services, National Milk Producers Federation. “That’s been a detriment to ag exporters, including the dairy industry. We’re doing a number of things to deal with the situation including trucking, transportation, shipping and availability of shipping containers.” Galen said the Ocean Shipping Reform Act is an important piece of legislation lawmakers are considering. “There’s a version that’s passed the Senate and another version that passed the House,” Galen said. “Those versions are different and have to be brought together and merged into one version that has to be passed again by both chambers.”

Farm families on the brink
    The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture reviewed USDA’s fiscal year 2023 budget request last week. USDA is requesting $195.9 billion. During the hearing, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asked lawmakers to not lose sight of farm families that need help financially. “There are 61,670 farm families on the brink. Those farm families are either delinquent in their loans to USDA, are bankrupt or are pending foreclosure.”

Slight decline in WI milk output
    Wisconsin milk production totaled 2.6 billion pounds in April. That is down 0.1% from one year ago. Nationally, milk production in the 24 major dairy states declined 0.9%.

Tractor, combine sales slip
    Tractor and combine sales declined for the second month in a row. Information from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers said U.S. tractor sales declined more than 22% in April compared to one year ago. Combine sales dropped nearly 6%. AEM spokesman Curt Blades said this comparison is being made to record sales one year ago.

UW-Madison selects new CALS dean
    The University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences has named Glenda Gillaspy as its new dean. Gillaspy is a department head at Virginia Tech. Former dean Kate VandenBosch stepped down at the end of the academic year. Gillaspy begins her new role Aug. 4.

A promotion for Rozum
    John Rozum has been promoted to senior director of agriculture and utility exhibitions and events for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. Rozum has been with AEM for nearly nine years. Previously, Rozum was the sales manager at World Dairy Expo.

For the Farmers
    John Deere and Busch Light launched a ‘For the Farmers’ campaign. Cases of Busch Light sold through July 3 will feature a farm scene. A John Deere tractor is part of the artwork. This partnership will support Farm Rescue.

Trivia challenge
    June Dairy Month was first launched in 1937. That answers our last trivia question. For this week’s trivia, what is the scientific term for the brain freeze that happens when eating something very cold, like ice cream? 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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