USDA Milk Purchase and Trade Tensions
**Following USDA Ag Marketing Service's announcement to purchase $50 million of pasteurized fluid milk, several dairy groups are applauding the decision.
Under Section 32 regulations USDA will purchase milk representing 12 to 15 million gallons of fat free, low-fat, reduced fat and whole milk. The milk will be distributed through food assistance programs and food banks.
According to agweb.com, National Milk Producers Federation, MilkPEP, International Dairy Foods Association and Dairy Farmers of America all support the program.
**It's no secret recent trade tensions have taken their toll on markets, but one economist hopes these issues are resolved quickly because they're "disruptive and needless."
LaSalle Economics president Vince Malagna tells AgriTalk you've got to be awfully careful because a slight escalation could wreak measurable harm both on the U.S. and the rest of the world.
Farmers praised President Trump's tax cuts, but according to Malagna, the strength those cuts gave the economy is the reason he's confident taking such an aggressive approach to trade.
**Senator Chuck Grassley says the EPA is no longer considering a controversial provision that would have made exported ethanol and biodiesel eligible for the credits used to measure compliance with the federal blending mandate.
The Iowa Republican makes the inference based on recent talks with EPA's Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, leading him to conclude the policy is no longer being considered as a potential compromise that would allow for year-round sale of E15.