IN THE NEWS

New Report Proposes More Fish, Less Milk for USDA's WIC Program

Pregnant women, new mothers and their children would benefit from more fish, fruit and vegetables in their diets and less milk, juice and peanut products, according to a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The USDA's Food and Nutrition Service contracted the Academies to study its Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), a program that feeds about 8 million women and children every year. Among the conclusions of the 914-page report is that WIC-users would benefit from the food vouchers more effectively reflecting USDA's Dietary Guidelines for Americans...

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U.S. Lawmakers Seek Canadian Dairy Policy Investigation

Two U.S. lawmakers representing major U.S. dairy states, U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), have called on Obama Administration leaders to review new Canadian trade policies they say will hurt the U.S. dairy industry. In a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman, the senators urged an investigation into whether the policies violate U.S.-Canadian trade agreements. Schumer and Baldwin expressed concern about Canada's National Ingredients Strategy and its already active Ontario Class VI pricing program...

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USDA Forecasts Record-High Corn, Soybean Production in 2016

Both U.S. corn and soybean growers are expected to harvest record-high crops this year, according to the Crop Production report issued Aug. 12 by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). U.S. corn production is forecast at 15.2 billion bushels, while soybean growers are expected to harvest 4.06 billion bushels in 2016. Aided by excellent field conditions, corn growers are expected to increase their production by 11 percent from the 2015 harvest. Average corn yield is forecast at 175.1 bushels per acre, setting a new record-high.

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Wunderlin: TPP is a Step Forward for Wisconsin Dairy Farmers

The national debate over trade has now reached dairy farms throughout Wisconsin. Some have discussed the impacts via anti-trade rhetoric, including in the column “Trade deal poses threat to dairy farmers” (July 20 Tribune). However, looking closer at these impacts reveals that trade has been positive for dairy farmers in Wisconsin and across the United States. Dairy is an outsized driver of Wisconsin’s rural economy, making up about half the $88 billion in agriculture-related sales that it generates. And this state’s dairy farmers are very good at what we do, which is producing milk.

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MPP-Dairy Provides Payout at $6 per Hundredweight, May-June Period

The Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) will provide indemnity payments to dairy producers with milk income over feed cost margins insured down to $6 per hundredweight (cwt) level, according to the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). USDA’s latest Agriculture Prices report provided milk and feed price factors for June, the second half of the May-June pay period margin calculations. At $14.80 per cwt, the U.S. average milk price was up slightly from May, halting a six-month decline. However, higher feed prices took a bigger bite of June’s milk income...

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People Want GMO Food Labeled - Which is Pretty Much All They Know

After years of fierce debate involving scientists, food manufacturers, farmers and environmental groups, Congress has passed a bill that would make it mandatory to inform consumers about the GMOs — or genetically modified organisms — in their food. The bill would require food companies to disclose whether their products contain genetically modified ingredients, whether in the form of a label or a scannable QR code on the packaging. Reports suggest that President Obama is expected to sign it.  The bill has been quick to stir the continued controversy about the safety of genetically engineered crops and a consumer’s right to avoid them. But if the politics surrounding GMOs are complicated, the attitudes of everyday Americans toward them may be even more so...

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