Ag Census Shows Consolidation and Enforcing China Agreement
**The 2017 Ag Census shows the dairy industry continues its relentless march toward consolidation.
The Ag Census shows over 54,000 farms had milk cows in 2017, but just over 39,000 dairy farms actually sold milk from the cows they owned.
USDA reports, of those herds reporting milk sales, 64.3% have one to 99 cows, and just 189 herds had more than 5,000 cows.
According to Milkbusiness.com, the consolidation will likely continue. The USDA reports the average number of licensed dairy farms dropped to 37,478 in 2018.
**The 2017 Census of Agriculture also shows the consolidation in U.S. agriculture overall is not slowing AND the American farmer is getting older.
The long-term forecast from Aimpoint Research shows some 105,000 farms, down from just under 120,000 in the 2012 census, accounted for 75 percent of all sales in 2017.
Agrimarketing.com reports, the average age of farmers rose more than a year from the previous census to 57.5. But the number of beginning farmers was up 5 percent, and now makes up 27 percent of all producers.
**Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the U.S. and China have found a way to enforce agreements made in a trade deal.
In an interview with CNBC, Mnuchin said officials have agreed on an enforcement mechanism and both countries will establish enforcement offices.
Mnuchin says trade officials are hopeful a deal can be reached soon but won't set a deadline.