Dairy Farms may have to Get Big – October 2, 2019

Dairy farms may have to get big to survive, says Perdue


In a state losing two dairy farms a day, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Tuesday that it’s hard to make a living with a small herd of cows. The “economies of scale having happened in America — big get bigger and small go out,” Perdue said at a dairy show in Wisconsin, in comments assailed as cold-hearted.


Farmers’ case against giant dairy co-op will go to trial


A collection of dairy farmers who allege anti-competitive conduct by the nation’s largest dairy cooperative will take their case to a jury trial. A U.S. district court judge late last week denied a motion for summary judgment — which would have wrapped the case up without trial — from defendant Dairy Farmers of America.


Prospects dim for USMCA this year, says CoBank

U.S. farmers are harvesting crops for the second year in a row under the shadow of hefty tariffs, says agricultural lender CoBank, and it looks “increasingly unlikely that the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement” will reach a vote before the 2020 elections.



Rule change would cut SNAP by $4.5 billion (Ag Insider): The Trump administration proposed a new method to calculate utility costs in each state, a factor in determining food stamp benefits. The proposal would make the so-called Standard Utility Allowance more uniform state to state and reduce SNAP spending by $4.5 billion over five years.


Raw cookbook deals (New York Times): Some publishers are offering cookbook deals with small advances, low royalties, and limited time to turn around recipes, forcing aspiring authors to choose between a possible career boost and making ends meet.


Lots of hemp, few buyers (Bloomberg): Although acreage of industrial hemp surged this year, processing capacity has lagged and a California manufacturer of equipment to extract CBD from hemp estimated up to $7.5 billion worth of hemp may go unharvested. 


Grassley recovering from hernia operation (The Hagstrom Report): Senate Finance chairman Chuck Grassley, who also serves on the Agriculture Committee, is expected to resume work later this week following outpatient surgery for a hernia. 


Farmers expect a break in trade war (Purdue): The portion of farmers who expect “the soybean trade dispute with China will be settled soon” has doubled since July to 41 percent.


Director named for top-level disease lab (USDA): Alfonso Clavijo, the executive director of Canada’s animal disease laboratories, will begin work on October 13 as director of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Kansas, a state of the art USDA facility intended to protect Americans and the agriculture sector from serious and contagious animal diseases. 


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