Mexican Demographic Change and Dairy Cow Numbers
**If you think finding farm workers is tough today, it could get much worse.
Edgeworth Economics researcher Steve Bronars tells Agri-Pulse, forget about new immigration laws and border walls, "demographic changes" in Mexico and Central America will likely make it much harder to find temporary seasonal workers.
He says Mexican family size is shrinking fast, with the fertility rate plunging from seven a few generations ago to near two today. That means what was 19 percent of the population between 20 and 30 in 2000, will drop to 13 percent by 2030.
**Dairy herd expansion appears to be ongoing with more replacement heifers on farms.
According to agweb.com, the USDA's annual Cattle Inventory report is typically thought of as a barometer of herd expansion in the beef industry, but it also paints a picture of what is happening with heifer retention on dairies.
Dairy cow numbers are now at the highest Jan. 1 inventory since 1996 with approximately 9.4 million cows.
**As part of the President's massive infrastructure budget, the nation's governors would be given $50 billion in block grants to help finance rural projects such as expansion of broadband service.
Two senior White House officials tell agriculture.com, the block grant funding would be available on a more rapid basis than the rest of the $200 billion in federal funding.
Overall, the Trump administration projects federal funds will stimulate $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending.