Dairy's ASF Impact on Milk and EPA Biofuels Increase
**The dairy industry is keeping a wary eye on China's devastating outbreak of African Swine Fever.
What does the rapidly spreading disease in China have to do with milk prices? According to milkbusiness.com, Chinese hogs are a driving force of U.S. whey exports to China.
ASF combined with tariffs could put significant pressure on export markets and in turn, milk prices.
Prior to the ASF outbreak, China slaughtered 700 million hogs each year, that consumed an estimated 250,000 metric ton of lactose.
**Banks serving U.S. farmers are increasingly restructuring existing loans and boosting the collateral needed for new loans as the numbers of late and missed payments rise.
Agrimarketing.com reports, while regional banks are healthy, they're clearly boosting their defense against risks. In March, a report showed past-due ag loans up 287 percent in 2018.
According to Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, farmer bankruptcies in six Midwest states rose 30 percent to 103 in 2018.
**The EPA has proposed increasing the volume of biofuels refiners must blend into their fuel annually to 20.04 billion gallons in 2020, up from 19.92 billion gallons in 2019.
Agriculture.com reports, the proposal, now under review by, includes 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuels like ethanol, unchanged from 2019.
The Renewable Fuel Standard has helped farmers by creating a huge market for ethanol and other biofuels, but oil refiners say compliance can cost a fortune.