ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- "Can't do it." That was the answer USDA officials gave to the Agricultural Retailers Association after the group asked the department to change crop insurance contracts to extend the planting season. That's because the insurance contracts are binding agreements between farmers and insurance companies and the USDA can't just step in and change contracts. The retailers asked for the change so farmers would have an extended planting window with insurance coverage so they could collect payments on their crops from the recently announced Market facilitation program for 2019 production. That program currently says if farmers take prevented planting options on their crop insurance, they won't have a crop so they can't get a check. The final planting date to get coverage in most of Wisconsin was may 31st. June 10th is the final planting date for soybean coverage with some southern counties having until June 15th.
The U.S. and China continue to blame each other for not having a new trade deal in place. And both sides are using the same argument. They both say the other side has changed some of the provisions already agreed to in previous talks. The latest flap is over the Chinese reportedly changing the part of the deal which calls for enforcement. U.S. officials say the Chinese have a history of making commitments they don't keep. The Chinese responded that such practices are common in trade negotiations.
The National Milk Producers' Federation got a little more clout this week. That comes from California Dairies Inc., the country's second largest dairy co-op, voting unanimously to join the group. California Dairies handles about40% of California's milk production and has 370 dairy farmer members who ship 16 billion pounds of milk a year. CDI will have 5 seats on the 53 member board of National Milk.
U.S. and Mexican trade officials are giving it another shot-that is trying to get a new trade deal done before President Trump puts on those 5% tariffs on Mexican goods. Talks at the White House started yesterday with Vice president Pence leading the U.S. team. The Mexicans are reportedly updating U.S. negotiators on their latest efforts to slow down immigrants passing through Mexico to the U.S. No one on the U.S. side is saying what they need to hear to stop the tariffs which are scheduled to go into effect this coming Monday.