Dairy farmers across the country have now gotten just over 1 billion dollars in direct cash aid through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. As of the end of June, checks had been sent to 17,633 dairy farmers with the checks averaging just under $60,000 per farm. The breakdown shows checks have been sent to 4,501 dairies in Wisconsin with the total payments reaching $224 million so far. California is next with 759 dairy farms splitting $140 million. The biggest payments so far have gone to other types of livestock operations. Those farmers have received over 2.4 billion dollars. That money has been split among 238,316 farms for an average of about $10,000 per farm.
Don’t look for the U.S. and China to sit down and talk about a phase 2 trade agreement any time soon. When asked about such a possibility last week, President Trump said a phase 2 deal isn’t even under consideration right now. The president told the media our relationship with China has been severely damaged because of the Coronavirus pandemic and he has no plans to engage the Chinese in any type of negotiations. He added the Chinese treatment of Hong Kong and its human rights’ abuses toward some Muslim people in China have added to the tensions between the 2 countries. From their side, Chinese leaders say continued U.S. criticism toward China over those issues might even put the phase 1 trade deal in jeopardy.
Today is July 15th and that traditionally means it’s the last day for farmers to report their 2020 planted acres to their local Farm Service Agency. And this year is no different. Acreage reporting is the first step for farmers who want to qualify for most USDA farm programs. Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, local FSA offices have been offering farmers a variety of ways for farmers to report those acres-including phone, email, online tools and virtual meetings.
Because of the Coronavirus, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting this coming December is looking at some alterations. Joe Bragger of Independence, current Farm Bureau President, said the meeting will be shortened to two days with only essential business being conducted. For those that want to take part from their homes, the sessions will be live streamed. That also means the Young Farmer Conference and the Discussion meet will also be done on line.