Ag Chat with Bob Bosold- April 3

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) -- The dairy industry is still trying to get a firm grasp of how to handle the milk supply situation as the Covid-19 crisis continues. We know milk is being dumped but no one seems to have a good handle on just how much milk is being disposed of or how many farms are involved. The challenge for the industry in Wisconsin is to get the milk from cheese processing plants that are full of milk to bottling plants that are working almost around the clock to get fluid milk to consumers. Since about 90% of our milk is made into cheese we don't have extra bottling plants so more and more farmers are going to be asked to dispose of milk in their manure lagoons for possibly the next 2 or 3 weeks.

Photo: Guy Montag / CC BY 2.0

While lots of farm meetings and get togethers for this spring and early summer are being either canceled or postponed, Wisconsin Farm Technology Days planning for this year's show July 21st through the 23rd in Eau Claire county is moving forward. Leaders of the show say they are working with Health Department officials to keep track of the Covid-19 virus but also remind people the show is an outdoor event, unlike the winter farm shows and farm meetings. But discussions are continuing and Farm Technology Days officials say they will issue an update regarding the status of the show on May 1st.
It looks like trade officials in the U.S., Mexico and Canada didn't dot all their i's and cross all their t's in getting a new trade deal finalized. Apparently none of the 3 countries notified the others by letter that they have changed their necessary laws and regulations to match the language of the new agreement. And by rule the deal can't take effect until the first day of the third month when all that gets done. So instead of a June 1st start to the new deal, it now looks it won't take effect until July 1st at the earliest.

One of the best deals for farmer borrowing is a Marketing Assistance Loan from the Farm service Agency. And this month that deal got even better because interest rates have been lowered 1.625%. And part of the new $2 trillion stimulus package calls for extending those out to 12 months instead of just 9. Interest rates on Farm Storage Facility Loans also fell this month to as low as three quarters of a percent.