Congressman calls out Canadians for Wisconsin dairy cutbacks

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Congressman calls out Canadians for Wisconsin dairy cutbacks

In a statement, the group Dairy Farmers of Canada said there are no new tariffs and Canadian processors are not restricted from buying milk from any farm they want.

The U.S. dairy industry is appealing to President Donald Trump for help after Canadian companies halted some imports, exacerbating a glut of milk on the American side of the border and forcing one of the country's biggest butter producers to scrap supply contracts with farmers.

At issue is a U.S-Canada trade dispute over what's called "ultra-filtered milk", a protein liquid concentrate used to make cheese. According to the company, it left them little choice but to reduce its milk intake. In a statement, he said family farmers should encourage processors to adopt proportional policies that would apply to all milk producers to balance the supply rather than dropping entire farms' contracts.

Dori Lichty, who operates a small family dairy farm near Beaver Dam with her husband, had been selling milk to Grassland for the last 1.5 years.

All Dave Roskopf knows is that he now has until the end of the month to find a new milk plant. "Finding a new processor fast is my priority". Wisconsin's approximately 400 other processors are at capacity with contractual obligations with dairy farmers not only in Wisconsin, but also from neighboring states.

At least 75 farms in Wisconsin are facing an immediate risk of being forced to close their businesses. "This is urgent. We have to make sure our trade agreements are being honored". "Our next move is to find a new home for this milk, and that will be tough".

"As a dairy industry, we've had a lot of prices changing throughout the many years", Uglow said. Canada is USA agriculture's largest export market, and almost one billion dollars in trading revenue comes into Wisconsin each year from products shipped to Canada.

"The problem right now is that we've seen milk production go up in other states, including South Dakota and MI, and (Wisconsin processors have) bought up some of that milk, so the system is full right now and has left us less flexibility than we had hoped for", Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture Ben Brancel told the Wisconsin State Journal.

Brancel, who managed a dairy farm more than 20 years, said it was hoped that some of the product being sent to Canada could be absorbed by other processors around the state.

Wisconsin, championed as the dairy state, is one of the largest producers of milk in the country.

"We believe the policy was created to discourage USA exports of ultrafiltered milk and incentivize Canadians to purchase Canadian milk, which is a possible violation of World Trade obligations", Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said. In its letter to farmers, the company expressed "regret that the Canadian governments' decision has made such a severe impact on Grassland's and your business". The president campaigned on renegotiating NAFTA, and Duffy believes dairy farmers should be involed in the negotiation.

The problem right now for these farmers is there is too much milk out there.

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