During a gathering in Mosinee, Wisconsin, Sept. 17, President Donald Trump said the administration would offer another round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for farmers and ranchers. “My administration is committing an additional, you’ve been asking for this a long time, $13 billion in relief to help farmers recover from the coronavirus,” Trump said.

USDA reveals more details of CFAP 2.0
    The United States Department of Agriculture will give farmers another chance for COVID-19 relief in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2.0. Payment calculations will be made for three categories of commodities: price trigger commodities, flat-rate crops and sales commodities. The new calculations offer at least $15 per acre for crops. Livestock payments will be based on their chosen inventory within an April to August time frame. Milk payments will be based on production from April through August. There is a payment limit of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities. The enrollment continues through Dec. 11.

Food box program contracts awarded
    A third round of contracts for the Farmers to Families Food Box Program has been awarded. There will be an additional $1 billion in funding for this program. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said this will benefit farmers and consumers.

Canadian milk pricing system challenged
    The International Dairy Foods Association is upset with Canada’s implementation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The United States sought the elimination of Canada’s 6 and 7 price classifications because it distorted global milk prices. Canada made that move but created new subclasses of milk that have the same result. IDFA is seeking more transparency on Canada’s dairy pricing system and the elimination of these programs.

USDA report forecasts milk production increase
    According to the September USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, milk production for 2020 and 2021 was raised from the August report due to an expected increase in milk output per cow. The export forecast was increased for the balance of this year with expectations for strong global demand for cheese, butter and whey products. The Class III milk price forecast for 2020 was reduced 15 cents from last month to $17.25 per hundredweight. The 2021 Class III milk price is expected to average $16 per cwt. That is down a dime from the August report and down $1.25 from 2020.

Milk production continues to rise
    U.S. milk production totaled 17.8 billion pounds in August, up nearly 2% from the previous year. In Minnesota, the size of the dairy herd declined by 5,000 head, but milk output increased 2%. South Dakota added 13,000 dairy cows to production from one year to the next. Milk production increased nearly 11%.

US faces $3 trillion deficit
    For the first 11 months of the fiscal year, the annual deficit for the United States has grown to $3 trillion. That compares to $1 trillion during the same time last year. Government spending went up sharply since March when a series of economic relief measures were put into place to deal with COVID-19.

Near-zero interest rates
    The Federal Reserve will keep interest rates near zero through 2023. The Fed’s two-day policy meeting wrapped up at mid-month with this announcement.

FCA reviews farm financial situation
    In its quarterly review on the farm economy, the Farm Credit Administration said general financial conditions are recovering from the big drop-off this spring. The FCA said income could decline sharply if government payments are reduced in 2021. There is a slight increase in level of stress for the Farm Credit System’s credit portfolio, but the lender said it remains well positioned to serve the agricultural market.

MN Milk names Peterson Legislator of the Year
    Minnesota Milk Producers Association awarded House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson the 2020 Legislator of the Year. “Peterson has decades of history supporting the dairy industry, and he’s really went above and beyond for us. There were certain issues where he’d say I know there’s a national movement, but it’s not right for Minnesota. Peterson really stood with our policies at Minnesota Milk,” said Lucas Sjostrom, executive director, Minnesota Milk Producers Association. “It’s also new for us to give this award to a federal lawmaker instead of a state lawmaker.”

Daniels promoted to policy analyst
    Malikha Daniels is now a policy analyst for U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson on the House Agriculture Committee. Daniels, who previously served as a legislative assistant, will focus on biotechnology, food safety, livestock, dairy, trade, specialty crops and organic agriculture issues.

MOSES hires new leader
    The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service has a new executive director. Lori Stern has operated a community-supported restaurant for the past six years, focusing on local foods.

Trivia challenge
    Go-GURT is a yogurt product for children. In Canada, it is known as Yoplait Tubes and in England, it is called Frubes. That answers our last trivia question. For this week, how much water does a dairy cow typically consume in a day? 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.