NAFTA Lost Opportunity; Dairy Processors Struggle
**The popular mantra from much of the ag sector as negotiators overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement is "do no harm," but, according to Agri-Pulse, the very act of renegotiating the massive three-country trade pact may already be costing pork, beef, corn, soybean and wheat exporters in lost opportunity.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative still isn’t fully staffed and is currently preoccupied with rewriting NAFTA, the 23-year old treaty that governs trade in everything from automobiles to sorghum between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
**A CoBank report says milk processors are struggling to keep pace with growing milk production.
Senior Dairy Economist Ben Laine tells Brownfield additional processing capacity has been built, but some regions have more production than processing capacity.
Laine says lower feed costs continue to drive expanded milk production, but lower milk prices the past few years have given processors incentives to expand, too.
He says while fluid milk consumption has gone down, worldwide dairy consumption has gone up so there are opportunities.
**Farmers and ranchers would like to see a new farm bill “sooner rather than later.”
That’s according to Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, but he’s still in the process of listening to members and various interest groups, while waiting for final budget numbers.
The chairman of the Senate Ag Committee tells Agri-Pulse formal work on a new bill can begin sometime after those efforts are complete.