dglobalnews.com Wisconsin, New York officials step into milk trade dispute
Published: Sat, April 08, 2017
National | By Glenda Ortiz

Wisconsin, New York officials step into milk trade dispute

Wisconsin, New York officials step into milk trade dispute

That is how one national group is describing the actions of the Canadian government. Von Ruden also disputed Grassland's assertion that the terminations were necessary because of a "sudden" change in Canadian dairy policy. Wisconsin has exported more than $385 million worth of dairy products to Canada in the past five years, the Wisconsin State Farmer reported.

About 75 Wisconsin farms have already been told that, in less than 30 days, Grassland Dairy Products of Greenwood will no longer buy their milk - leaving the farms without a place to ship their product in a tough marketplace.

As Mike Buwalda loaded his trailer with milk from the Roskopf family farm Thursday, he openly anxious about how Grassland's decision could impact the entire community. "The agricultural community needs to work together to find a solution so farmers don't have to make quick decisions that will have long-term impacts", Holte said. "Something like this just can't happen".

But Mr Partridge said the letter did not guarantee the cost to farmers would be capped at four cents. "It's a huge loss for dairy farmers across the country, so we need something back from the Canadians".

Grassland alone exports about $100 million worth of ultrafiltered milk annually.

All Dave Roskopf knows is that he now has until the end of the month to find a new milk plant.

Five dairy farmers recently lost their contracts with the Parmalat-owned processor due to an oversupply of milk. Grassland Dairy announced in a letter they will stop accepting milk because of new Canadian regulations.

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"All Canadian dairy processors are entitled to source from any supplier they want, just like the US processors, said DFC Director of Communications, Isabelle Bouchard, "Nothing has changed in Canada". New York's dairy industry is the State's largest agricultural sector having nearly 5,000 family-run farms that are home to over 618,000 cows, resulting in an average of 128 cows per farm.

Meanwhile, on the Rokopf farm near Iron Ridge, the milk hauler has hope.

Von Ruden said something must be done about the oversaturated milk market.

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

Dairy experts say there is too much milk available on the market today, and contractual obligations at other milk processors or dairies that make yogurt and ice cream may not allow them to accept more milk from new sources. Grassland says it will help the farmers in their search for a new processor.

"Canada's protectionist dairy policies are having precisely the effect Canada intended: cutting off US dairy exports of ultra-filtered milk to Canada despite long-standing contracts with American companies", said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. "Our state's dairy farmers are some of the best in the world, and they should not be the victims of a trade dispute they didn't start", Johnson said.

Wisconsin is now calling on processors and marketing organizations to help find a place for the milk displaced by this policy, and Secretary Brancel plans to meet face-to-face with the processing industry to attempt to work out a solution for affected farmers.

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