Dairy dispute with Canada: Wisconsin farmers "relieved" over new help

Dairy dispute with Canada: Wisconsin farmers

Dairy dispute with Canada: Wisconsin farmers "relieved" over new help

Harrop explained Canadian dairy farmers created a new class price for milk protein concentrates to be competitive with the milk coming in from the USA and now Canadian producers are using domestic products instead of buying them from the U.S.

But Wednesday, Senn signed a six-month contract with Dairy Farmers of America to purchase the goods. Even before this export problem, farmers have been producing tons and tons of milk, leading to a collapse of prices, leading to more production to try to make it up on volume, leading to yet lower prices.

Those factors made the USA ultrafiltered milk - used in the making of other dairy products, like cheese - cheaper for processors to buy than the same product from Canadian sources, Bozic explains.

Ironically enough, Grassland has also been bankrolling the 5,000 cow factory farm expansion of Cranberry Creek Dairy in Dunn County, Wis., to further flood the domestic milk market.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration slapped Canada with a 20 percent tax on lumber imports - and there were reports that President Donald Trump was considering withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, in the next few days.

Nationwide, a record 17.5 billion pounds was produced in the 23 major dairy states, up about 2% from March 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The loudest shot in the developing battle was sacked late Monday, when the Trump administration said the USA would slap a 20% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber imports. One of Wisconsin's largest family-owned cheese factories, Mullins Cheese, has tossed a lifeline to eight dairy farms that were at risk of closing from a trade dispute with Canada.

These products are "the barometer for what's going on in world markets", said Ben Laine, an economist at CoBank Acb.

"We need more processing capacity in the state of Minnesota, and we need to give our processors signal they can expand, but they don't have that", he said.

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Later in the week the president called Canada a "disgrace" for it's policies that hurt American farmers, while speaking in the Oval Office. Just three producers - Saputo, Agropur Cooperative, and Kraft Canada - command 72% of the whole Canadian cheese market.

Frank Behling milks a small herd, between 55 and 60 cows, on his farm near the Village of Randolph.

So as this trade dispute escalates, how will it impact farmers in the Northeast?

"We are also going to stand up for our dairy farmers", he said.

It's obvious the president has heard the voices urging him to press the Canadians on this front. High farmgate milk prices don't allowing our dairy processors and restaurant owners to become more competitive.

"That is right. The way raw milk is in Texas and the limitations you have, a lot of people want to have the opportunity to have the choice to have raw, but it's such a burden on them, and for us too", said Richardson.

Ontario's move was followed by Manitoba and Saskatchewan and then the federal government, which, just to complicate matters, came up with a national category labeled Class 7. Everyone thinks of Canada as being wonderful, and so do I.

Ian Harrop, Centre Wellington dairy farmer and Dairy Farmers of Ontario board member, says the industry is staying calm, but Trump's comments are "totally wrong".

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