NMPF News Alerts – July 2, 2020

CEO’s Corner: Lessons learned will move our industry, and country, forward

NMPF – July 1

Midway through a history-making year, we in dairy can take with us important lessons from its first half as we face whatever the second half may bring. To do that, it’s important to take a moment to reflect on what we have learned and what it means for the months ahead. First – A catastrophic collapse in dairy prices has been followed by a dramatic rebound. But as we have painfully learned this year, expect the unexpected.

May Dairy Margin Coverage payment $4.13

Milk Business – July 1

The USDA reported this week that the milk-feed margin for May was just $5.37, which will trigger a Dairy Margin Coverage payment of $4.13/cwt for producers who signed up for $9.50 coverage. The last time milk prices were this low was in May and June 2016, when they averaged $14.65. That triggered a Margin Protection Program payment of $2.24/cwt for dairy producers who signed up $8 coverage, the most allowed at the time.

House agrees to extend small business rescue program

Politico – July 1

The House passed a bill to revive the $670 billion small business aid program that shut down just hours earlier, leaving only President Trump’s signature to restart the flow of emergency funds. The lawmakers agreed to advance the bill by unanimous consent after the Senate passed it in a surprise move Tuesday night. The legislation would allow the Paycheck Protection Program to resume issuing small business loans until Aug. 8.

Round Two begins for Food Boxes

Agri-Pulse Daybreak – July 2

USDA is heading into the second round of its Farmers to Families Food Box program, a major part of the Trump administration’s effort to address the impact of the pandemic on the food supply chain and hungry Americans. In its second round of purchases, the program will purchase $288 million in a variety of dairy products, $233 million in meat products and $444 million in a combination. USDA has dropped at least a couple of controversial choices from its list of contractors for the program.

USDA pressed on organic livestock rule

Agri-Pulse Daybreak – July 2

Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) have joined Dan Newhouse (R-WA) in asking Agriculture Secretary Perdue to finalize the National Organic Program’s Origin of Livestock rule. It is aimed at stopping farms from shifting herds between organic and conventional production. “Failure to close this loophole has allowed some producers to continuously cycle cows in and out of organic management,” the letter said.

U.S. farmers scramble for help as COVID-19 scuttles immigrant workforce

Reuters – July 2

The novel coronavirus delayed the arrival of seasonal immigrants who normally help harvest U.S. wheat, leaving farmers to depend on high school students, school bus drivers, laid-off oilfield workers and others to run machines that bring in the crop. As combines work their way north from the Southern Plains of Texas and Oklahoma, farmers and harvesting companies are having a hard time finding and keeping workers.

Ottawa ‘remotely’ inspected Ontario farms while COVID-19 infected hundreds of migrant workers

CBC News (Canada) – July 1

The federal government has conducted mostly remote inspections of Ontario farms that employ migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of physically entering the properties to make sure the laborer’s living conditions are safe. The inspections have been happening as COVID-19 has infected hundreds of migrant farm laborers in Ontario.

World food price index rises in June, first increase in 2020

Reuters – July 2

World food prices rose to post their first increase of 2020 and mark a slight rebound after the sharp falls triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. The dairy index climbed 4.0% but all its components remained below where they had been before the pandemic swept the world. The meat price index slipped 0.6% on the month, with quotations for meats easing because of increased export availabilities in major producing regions.