Milk prices fall, again

Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 8:20 AM CDT
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - The official Class 3 milk price fell in August to $19.77-that’s $4.77 less than the July price of 24.54, which was the highest in the last 4 years. But it was $2.17 higher than the price last August. For the first 8 months of this year the Class 3 price is averaging $17.62 a hundred.

Good news and bad news for farm income in 2020. The good news is that it’s probably going to be up for the year by 23% or almost $19 billion to around 102 billion-the first time it’s been over 100 billion dollars since 2014. The bad news is that a lot of that money is coming from government aid payments. The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and others run by the Commodity Credit Corporation is expected to pay farmers over $37 billion this year-more than double what farmers got from the government last year. Government figures also show farmers will end up with almost $6 billion in payments from the Payroll Protection Program and nearly 4 billion from Market Facilitation Program payments. Those payments will help ease the pain from lower market prices this year for all species of livestock, and dairy sales. Those cash receipts are expected to be down over $12 billion. Also down will be income from falling crop prices as corn revenue is projected to drop by over $3 billion, wheat by 600 million and soybeans will be off by $200 million.

Bayer Ag is back in court trying to resolve that first case they lost concerning the use of Round-Up herbicide. In that case a judge awarded a groundskeeper over $289 million because claimed the product gave him cancer. That was in 2018 and in subsequent appeals the award has been reduced to 20 and a half million. Now Bayer wants the California Supreme Court to determine if a manufacturer of a federally approved herbicide like Round-Up can be liable under a state law for failing to provide a cancer warning on the label when federal officials ruled the product was safe for human use. No word yet on if the California High Court will hear the case.

While we are expecting an announcement any day about a second Coronavirus Food Assistance Program from Washington, it’s still not too late for farmers to ask for some financial aid from the first such program. The sign-up deadline isn’t until next Friday September 11th.

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