While margins have been “okay” for most of 2017 thanks to lower feed costs, large milk supplies continue to weigh on U.S. dairy prices and the outlook for the dairy market.
“We’re so full in terms of capacity for processing, everybody’s looking at where export markets are going to go and how that’s going to impact prices,” says Mike Opperman, editor of Farm Journal’s MILK magazine.
And that’s why there was plenty of discussion about the current North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin this week. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has said the U.S. negotiators will be introducing a proposal on dairy during round four, which begins in Washington on Wednesday.
Opperman chatted with our own Bernard Tobin about the state of the U.S. dairy industry, expectations for market access into Canada and Mexico in the context of the NAFTA negotiations, U.S. producer views on Canada’s supply management system, as well as labour challenges common to dairy producers on both sides of the 49th parallel.
Listen to their conversation — some perspective on how U.S. dairy producers view these issues — here:
Stay tuned to RealAg for more coverage of the 2017 World Dairy Expo.