Facing deadline, most Wisconsin dairy farms find new buyer

Toni Houston
April 30, 2017

Trump has made it no secret that he was displeased by Canada's decision to alter dairy pricing. "This is not our idea of a properly functioning free trade agreement".

Later in the day, reports appeared that Trump was doing something else certain legislators might like: withdrawing from NAFTA. USDEC accomplishes this through programs in market development that build global demand for USA dairy products, resolve market access barriers and advance industry trade policy goals.

The Trump administration has attempted to fulfill the president's campaign promise to take a harder line on United States trade policy by increasingly picking fights with Canadian exporters.

Canada's dairy and butter represent a mere.97 percent of global production and dairy milk (fluid) only 1.56 percent.

Canada has long maintained high tariffs on most dairy imports.

The argument focuses on what is known as ultra-filtered milk.

He said the last few weeks have been "stressful" since Grassland cited a dispute with Canada for cutting 75 contracts and he hoped other farmers will be able to find a place to sell their product.

Although the policy entailed a heavy domestic subsidy cost, it lowered the prices for this milk class to create incentives to produce domestic ultra-filtered milk and better compete with US -produced imports. This program provides vouchers to needy families for the purchase of milk. In 2016, Canada only sold $112.6 million worth of milk to the USA, whereas we sold roughly five times that to them. Dairy farming, like all farming, is a heavily concentrated business, making it easy for big business to bankrupt small ones with unfair pricing.

"The challenges that the dairy industry faces in the United States and in Canada are part of a global market issue", said David MacNaughton, Canadian Ambassador to the USA, "not one that is caused by Canada".


Some say the flood of milk has resulted from decades of government policies that have encouraged large-scale agricultural production.

Trump's advisers are deeply divided over how aggressively to erect trade barriers.

His comments seem to refer to a policy change that affected milk classes in the existing supply management.

President Donald Trump took aim Tuesday morning at Canada's dairy practices. USA imports fell in 2016, and continue to decline. Dairy inventories are rising as prices drop.

Milk continues to be readily available for Midwest cheesemakers, according to Dairy Market News. This trend is likely to persist well into 2017 or until the dollar reverses course.

Frank Behling milks a small herd, between 55 and 60 cows, on his farm near the Village of Randolph. "However, in April, Canada revised its milk classification system, which has led to changes in the dairy market that have disproportionately hurt our farmers", a press release announcing the letter said.

So what are government's options?

Congressman Chris Collins, R-Clarence, along with other federal legislators, thanked President Trump on Wednesday for his stance regarding the dairy industry's trade issue with Canada. There are many poverty-stricken communities, both at home and overseas, that would welcome our excess inventories.

U.S. processors, like Grassland, had been exploiting a loophole in the trade agreement that allowed them to ship ultra-filtered milk to Canadian cheese plants tariff-free since it was classified as an "ingredient" at the border.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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