Ag News: Potato Exports Higher and Louis Dreyfus Layoffs
**U.S. potato exports found an upswing during the 2019-20 first quarter.
According to potatocountry.com, this continues the growth seen at the end of the last marketing year and is in despite of continuing trade issues in Asia.
Continued growth will depend on the availability of potatoes and products in the U.S. based on the lower than average fall harvest and the size of the rebound in European production.
**Louis Dreyfus is cutting jobs as the embattled ag commodities trader tightens its belt amid low profits.
Sources tell agweb.com, most of the layoffs are in support, back office and administrative functions, but it’s unclear how many workers will be affected.
The 169-year-old trading house is being squeezed by thin margins after years of bumper crops reduced volatility traders need to thrive. It’s also been hit by trade wars and African swine fever in Asia.
**A recent Farm Journal survey found employees across the ag industry continue to struggle to find and keep employees, but that dairy producers are paying more now than ever.
Agweb.com found, of the surveyed dairy farmers, 87% of them pay more than they did five years ago. In fact, one responded said an increase in mandatory pay and overtime regulations will force them to sell his farm.
While 58% of employers have raised wages, very few offer employee benefits.