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USMCA Won’t Solve Milk Price Crisis
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

Communications Media Producer Helene Bergren
515.598.4670
Twitter: @NatlFarmers
Facebook: National Farmers
For Immediate Release

National Farmers Says USMCA Won’t Solve America’s Milk Price Crisis

     (AMES, Iowa) Oct. 3, 2018 — National Farmers Organization says the new tri-lateral trade agreement known as USMCA may be viewed as a positive step by some, but won’t change the low milk price forecast for U.S. producers.
     In the past four years, American dairy producers have experienced a milk price drop of nearly 50 percent.
     “We appreciate that opening up export markets to more U.S. milk products is important when we have an over-supply of production here at home,” said National Farmers President Paul Olson. But, when you consider there are more dairy cows in Wisconsin than all of Canada, the positive impact is significantly offset.
     The new trade deal allows the U.S. to regain access to the Canadian market for milk powder and milk proteins, or Class 7 products. The U.S. will now be able to export $560 million worth of dairy products, or about 3.5 percent of Canada’s dairy industry, up from 3.2 percent.
     Olson says it could give a short-term psychological boost to markets here at home, but that it won’t be a salvation for America’s dairy farmers. “What our dairy producers need is a new milk production and pricing system based upon balancing supply and demand factors; that is just reality,” he said. “Supply management and structure management changes need serious review by U.S. co-ops and all milk marketing organizations, along with dairy farmers themselves. Then, we will need implementation in a meaningful way.”
     Olson also said National Farmers Organization believes it is the wrong approach to attempt to erode Canada’s milk pricing system, but should instead address the severe problems the U.S. milk pricing system has created—responsible for thousands of U.S. producers exiting the business in the past four years.
     Canada’s dairy industry changed in the mid-1970s, after decades of dairy farmer losses. The country moved to a supply management system, which stabilized milk markets and farm operations there. Their farm gate price enables producers to cover production costs and provide a return on labor and capital.
     The National Farmers Organization points out that exports are particularly important because of milk over-supply domestically, but the small Canadian gains will be dramatically offset by China’s new tariffs on lactose, infant formula, caseins and others. “When you look at China’s new tariff schedule, every single U.S. dairy product will now face additional fees to enter the country,” Olson said.
     Bob Yonkers, dairy economist and analyst with the Daily Dairy Report says during the past five years, China imported nearly 10 percent of the total value of America’s dairy product exports, coming in third after Mexico and Canada.
     National Farmers also pointed out that Country-of-Origin Labeling was not addressed in the tri-lateral trade deal, which the organization favors. Further, the U.S. Congress, and Canada’s House of Commons, must ratify the agreement, along with Mexico. The organization is concerned current tariffs may remain in place until 2020.
     National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
     National Farmers also provides access to today’s sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. We guide producers of many operation sizes through the process of using forward contracts, and put and call options. For more information about National Farmers, visit nationalfarmers.com or call 800.247.2110.
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National Farmers Ag Tariff Relief
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

Communications Media Producer Helene Bergren
515.598.4670
Twitter: @NatlFarmers
Facebook: National Farmers
For Immediate Release

National Farmers Says Ag Tariff Relief Package Unfair, Inadequate

     (AMES, Iowa) August 29, 2018 — National Farmers Organization reacted Tuesday to the $12 billion-dollar tariff relief package for U.S. agricultural producers, the Market Facilitation Program, saying it provides some assistance, but needs to go farther, and aid calculations need to use a historic production average, not just one year’s data.
     “We are appreciative of USDA’s efforts to provide some level of relief to America’s producers, but we believe payment levels are far below what farmers deserve in these uncertain markets,” said National Farmers President Paul Olson.
     On behalf of National Farmers, Olson recommended changes in a letter sent to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House Agriculture Committees. Olson advised using a three-year historic production average from 2011-2013 for determining individual producer payment amounts. Olson stressed that the MFP inconsistency of using the highest production number to calculate aid for milk, but only 2018 production for other commodities, is unfair to producers.
     In the letter, Olson also recommended increasing the amount of the trade dispute aid package. With economic impacts affecting not only farmers, but also rural communities and companies where they do business, the trade dispute and the package each have far-reaching economic results.
     Olson said grain producers harmed this year by drought or too much rain, should be allowed a payment adjustment factor. Many grain producers believe they would have been better off with a threeyear average used as the keystone for their payments, rather than their 2018 production alone. Olson is also concerned that soybean basis is about 60 cents wider than in a normal year, an example of a negative impact of the dispute on producers.
     “National Farmers is extremely disappointed that corn producers will only receive a penny a bushel in tariff reparation,” he said. The National Corn Growers Association reported corn producers have seen prices fall by 44 cents, because of the tariff dispute with China, Mexico and Canada.
     “The dairy portion of the relief package announcement of just 12 cents per hundredweight is much lower than they deserve,” said Olson. “We agree with National Milk Producers Federation estimate that dairy farmer payments represent less than 10 percent of losses they have actually incurred since the tariffs went into effect.”
     NMPF said since the retaliatory tariffs were announced in late May, milk futures prices have lost over $1.2 billion through December 2018. And, milk prices for the rest of 2018 are projected to be $1.10- per-cwt. lower than were estimated just prior to the tariffs being imposed on U.S. dairy exports.
     “Unfair and inadequate is how I characterize the Market Facilitation Program, in its current form,” Olson says. He is hopeful USDA will consider adjustments to bolster the tariff damage payments to producers.
     National Farmers markets milk, livestock ad crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
     National Farmers also provides access to today’s sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. We guide producers of many operation sizes through the process of using forward contracts, and put and call options. For more information about National Farmers, visit nationalfarmers.com or call 800.247.2110.
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National Farmers urges new beef labeling FSIS regulations
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

Communications Media Producer Helene Bergren
515.598.4670
Twitter: @NatlFarmers
Facebook: National Farmers
For Immediate Release

National Farmers urges new beef labeling FSIS regulations

     (AMES, Iowa) April 11, 2018 — National Farmers Monday urged the Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Services to establish new beef labeling requirements. The move comes as support for the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association’s petition filed Feb. 9 that would exclude product not derived directly from animals raised and slaughtered from the definition of beef and meat.
     “As more consumers in this country ramp up their awareness of food’s origin and quality, we believe it is time for FSIS to limit the definition of beef products from cattle born, raised, and harvested in the traditional manner,” said National Farmers President Paul Olson.
     Livestock producers in this country deserve the beef product distinction, which excludes products made or created from alternative sources, said Olson. He said synthetic product from plants, insects or non-animal components would not qualify as beef, as well as any product produced in a lab from animal cells.
     Similar concerns are being raised in the dairy sector, with widespread use of the word “milk” used to describe beverage products derived from soybeans and almonds, for example. Grocery store placement of imitation products next to meat or beef, leads consumers to believe the products are the same, offer the same nutritional value or are more similar than they are in reality.
     Many brands of milk are placed adjacent to one another in the dairy case, and various types of ice cream and frozen pizza, are purposely placed together, because they are different choices of the same product foundationally. This can cause consumers to blur meat and its imitations into one category, when, in fact, they are food products that should be differentiated.
     National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
     National Farmers also provides access to today’s sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. We guide producers of many operation sizes through the process of using forward contracts, and put and call options. For more information about National Farmers, visit nationalfarmers.com or call 800.247.2110.
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Top-10 Financial To-Do's
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

Communications Media Producer Helene Bergren
515.598.4670
Twitter: @NatlFarmers
Facebook: National Farmers
For Immediate Release

Minnesota Ag Financial Pro Tells National Farmers Members Top Ten To-Do’s

     (AMES, Iowa) Feb. 8, 2018—Know where you are. That statement laid the foundation for a top ten financial to-do list given to National Farmers members Jan. 29 at National Farmers annual convention in Mason, Ohio, by Dale Nordquist, associate director, University of Minnesota Center for Farm Financial Management.
     Nordquist made one important clarification. “I don’t have ten things that when you implement these things automatically everything’s going to be profitable and all better….We haven’t found that secret potion that makes everything work yet,” he said.
     “The difference between high-profit farms and low-profit farms, it seems the high-profit farms do just a little bit better in everything that they do,” Nordquist said. “They seem to get a little bit better yields. They get a little bit better prices. They have a little lower costs, and that little difference makes a big difference in the bottom line.” A Texas A&M professor came up with the idea that the more profitable farms do five percent better across the board than their neighbors, Nordquist said. This is not farm-size related. “Small changes make a lot of difference,” he said.
     Nordquist listed the top financial to-do list priorities for farm operations today.
1. Know Where You Are 6. Control Costs
2. Know Where You’re Going 7. Do 5 Percent Better
3. Use Your Accounting Records for Something More Than Taxes 8. Don’t Refinance Unless You Plug the Leaks
4. Understand Volume and Margin 9. Think Countercyclical
5. Manage Working Capital 10. Don’t Go It Alone

True Financial Position
     For producers to know where they are financially, Nordquist emphasized they need to prioritize completing balance sheets, minimally once each year. “Complete your own balance sheet,” Nordquist said. Lenders shouldn’t be filling out farmers’ balance sheets for them. Further, farmers need to monitor their debt-to-asset percentages, working capital and change in net worth.
     The farm financial whiz also corrected an important point about what’s most important in determining if a farm is profitable. “I’ll go so far as to say the single-best measure of overall financial performance for family farms is net worth change, or what lenders prefer to call earned net worth change,” he said. Producers are likely more familiar with the term retained earnings. “We do know if this is positive, we move forward for the year.”

Tax Points
     Nordquist also pointed out that showing as low a net farm income on the Schedule F tax form as possible is good tax management. However, when it is time to receive approval for a loan, it can work against producers. It is also a poor indicator of farm performance, but lenders know it’s the only information source they can get from many operations. “It just doesn’t provide as much financial information for performance of the business,” he said.
     UM’s Center for Farm Financial Management is home to FINBIN, a major source of farm financial and production benchmark information. FINBIN provides detailed reports on whole farm, crop, and livestock financials.
     National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
     National Farmers also provides access to today’s sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. We guide producers of many operation sizes through the process of using forward contracts, and put and call options. We also represent farmers and ranchers with government regulatory agencies and departments to help provide equity in policy and agricultural industry transactions. For more information about National Farmers, visit nationalfarmers.com or call 800.247.2110.
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New Member Ag Policy Positions
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

Communications Media Producer Helene Bergren
515.598.4670
Twitter: @NatlFarmers
Facebook: National Farmers
For Immediate Release

National Farmers members approve crop insurance, dairy program, CRP policy positions

     (AMES, Iowa) Feb. 7, 2018 — At National Farmers’ annual convention in Mason, Ohio, Jan. 30, members approved policies focusing on crop insurance, a workable dairy program for family farmers, Conservation Reserve Program marginal land enrollment and the Farm Bill.
     “National Farmers supports current funding levels for affordable crop insurance, because of its effectiveness in protecting farm incomes and importance in securing operating loans,” said National Farmers Ag Policy Coordinator Gene Paul. For organic grains, the organization supports premium rates commensurate with payments available for losses incurred.
     National Farmers supports a strong safety net for America’s farmers and ranchers. This includes the following:
   •  Simplifying the Margin Protection Program for family operated dairy farms
   •  Allowing grain producers to enroll marginal land into CRP for just 1-3 years
   •  Creating growth management programs for milk and grain producers
   •  Retaining farm and nutrition programs in one package
   •  Supporting the Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP) as proposed by U.S. Senator John Thune
     “National Farmers member policy discussions included Reinstatement of Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling,” said Paul. Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) must be included in all trade agreements so U.S. producers can compete against the growing tide of undifferentiated products imported into their domestic market, Paul said.
     Member organic grain producers were apprised of concerns about fraudulent organic grain imports that have depressed U.S. producer prices. “We would like to see an investigation by the Senate and House Agriculture
     Committees regarding oversight failure for organic grain imports,” said Paul. National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
     National Farmers also provides access to today’s sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. We guide producers of many operation sizes through the process of using forward contracts, and put and call options. For more information about National Farmers, visit nationalfarmers.com or call 800.247.2110.
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Paul Talks Farm Bill, Trade and Captive Supply
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

Communications Media Producer Helene Bergren
515.598.4670
Twitter: @NatlFarmers
Facebook: National Farmers
For Immediate Release

National Farmers’ Paul says Farm Bill content unknown; highlights trade, captive supply

     (AMES, Iowa) Feb. 7, 2018 — At National Farmers’ annual convention in Mason, Ohio, Jan. 30, National Farmers Ag Policy Coordinator Gene Paul, Delavan, Minn., said with ag policy there are more questions than answers about positions that may be reflected in the next Farm Bill.
     However, the goal of congressional agricultural committees, Paul said, is to pass a new Farm Bill this year, before the current one expires.
     Paul joined National Farmers’ top officers and talked about trade and its importance. “This is an area where we have gotten mixed signals. We don’t really know if the country’s policy right now is to renegotiate or walk away….Trade impacts farmers very much,” he said.
     “With no real programs to limit the growth of production, we have to rely on export markets to help move that extra supply,” Paul said.
     A Congressional Budget Office study pointed out financial savings for limiting crop insurance payment amounts to any one individual producer. National Farmers has long supported crop insurance, and members have a vested interest in the topic with National Farmers Crop Insurance agency covering most Midwest and Plains states.
     Paul also addressed concerns about captive supply situations expanding to the grain industry. Some agribusinesses are requiring producers who secure financing through their financial divisions to market crops through their companies, as well.
     Dairy co-ops, too, are following the captive supply trend, Paul said. With no growth management plan in place, dairy processing plants are sourcing their supply of milk from dairies closer to the plant, leaving many dairy farms without a market.
     That circumstance puts dairy producers in the same position as livestock and grain producers regarding a captive supply situation, Paul said. “We need to keep working to help producers find markets.
     National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
     National Farmers also provides access to today’s sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. We guide producers of many operation sizes through the process of using forward contracts, and put and call options. For more information about National Farmers, visit nationalfarmers.com or call 800.247.2110.
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NF Talk NAFTA, Dairy at Convene '18
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

Communications Media Producer Helene Bergren
515.598.4670
Twitter: @NatlFarmers
Facebook: National Farmers
For Immediate Release

National Farmers President Olson, Vice President Riniker talk NAFTA, dairy

     (AMES, Iowa) Feb. 6, 2018—National Farmers President Paul Olson at National Farmers National Convention, Jan. 30, in Mason, Ohio, during his presidential address, expressed his worries about pulling out from NAFTA.
     Olson, a Taylor, Wis., farmer, emphasized his top priority lies with farmers, but the trade agreement needs to stay. “I believe it helps the industry more than it helps the producers. But now, having had it so long, if we don’t have it, I think we’ll be worse off without it,” Olson said.
     Olson pointed out that Mexico is the top importer of U.S. corn. USDA Foreign Ag Service numbers indicate in 2016, that amounted to $2.6 billion.
     Olson continued, and said supply and demand struggles are paramount in the dairy industry, and producers are facing worries about markets for their milk, Olson cited a guest column in Hoard’s Dairyman Dec. 27. A Massachusetts dairy producer asked where to start the conversation about control over the market and brought up the topic of supply management, which National Farmers has proposed and supported during the last several years.
     “It’s time for a change,” he said. Olson again suggested a supply management system, because producing high-quality milk in great quantities, “produce to prosperity,” is not working, he said.
     National Farmers Vice President Paul Riniker, Greeley, Iowa, agreed with Olson. In his address, he pointed out that he is a former dairy producer himself, and he underscored the concern about milk transported from the Northeast to the Mideast and Midwest dairy regions, being processed at $6 per cwt. to $8 per cwt. below its value.
     Riniker said National Farmers continues to work to find new milk markets. “There is hope when producers work together,” he said.
     National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
     National Farmers also provides access to today’s sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. We guide producers of many operation sizes through the process of using forward contracts, and put and call options. For more information about National Farmers, visit nationalfarmers.com or call 800.247.2110.
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