Ag News: USDA Food Box Contracts and USTR “Ready” for USMCA
**The USDA is offering contracts for its massive food box program to companies that were passed over in the first round of contracts for technical errors, such as a missed signature or unchecked box.
Other companies that received contracts through the end of June will receive extensions for July 1 – Aug. 30.
In all, the second round will be for up to $1.16 billion in fresh produce, dairy and cooked meat products.
**U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says the U.S. is "ready to go" for USMCA implementation on July 1, but stresses he’ll be keeping a close eye on Canada to make sure it lives up to its promise for dairy reforms.
Canada agreed in the deal to eliminate its Class 7 dairy pricing system, which U.S. producers say flooded the international market with skim milk powder.
But, Lighthizer says if there's any shading of the benefits of American farmers, we'll bring a case against them."
**The California almond crop is so heavy that when high winds blew through the Central Valley this month, many trees toppled, but observers still expect a record crop.
Farmers and crop advisors credit the large crop to near-perfect weather when trees bloomed.
The Almond Board of California says both domestic and export shipments rose during the early weeks of the pandemic before declining in May.