ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) -- If farmers don't have their second round of payments yet under the Market Facilitation Program, they shouldn't have to wait long. USDA officials have directed county Farm Service Agency offices to get that job done by tomorrow. They expect every farmer getting a payment will have their money by Thanksgiving Day. This round of payments will amount to around $3.6 billion with the total for both rounds coming in just under $6.9 billion. Those payments are the Administration's way to try and make up for lost international markets caused by President Trump's tariffs.
A Quad City restaurant is facing tens of thousands of dollars in fines. After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Osaka Buffet in Moline has to pay nearly $79,000 in back wages to 33 current and former employees. (MGN Image)
There is some good news on the trade front. This week the lower House of the Japanese Parliament passed a new trade agreement with the United States. The deal would open up the Japanese market to more U.S. beef, pork, wheat, wine and other farm products. Japan's Upper House of Parliament is expected to also pass the deal during the first part of December. U.S. officials say they would like the deal to go into effect on January 1st of 2020. Japan's Prime Minister has been pushing for passage of the agreement to avoid any more tariffs on Japanese autos coming to the United States.
October milk production was up in Wisconsin and across the country. In Wisconsin, production reached 2.57 billion pounds-up 1% from a year ago. That's with the same number of cows but each cow produced 30 more milk than they did a year ago-averaging 2,025 pounds per animal. In the top 24 milk producing states, milk production reached 17.3 billion pounds-up almost 2% from last October. That's with each cow averaging 1,964 pounds of milk-33 pounds more than last October. California continues lead the nation in milk output with just over 3.4 billion pounds last month. Idaho, New York and Texas round out the top 5 milk producing states.
Agriculture Secretary has reloaded the United Soybean Board by naming 43 growers to serve 3 year terms. And 3 of those growers are from Wisconsin-2 being re-named and 1 new member. Returnees are from Genoa City and Ripon with the new board member being Tony Mellenthin of Menomonie. 73 soybean growers serve on the Board which is responsible for soybean check-off dollars.