US dairy head calls for balance

April 14, 2010

Jerry Kozak, head of the USA’s Milk Producers’ Federation is calling for a move away from the dairy product price support programme (DPPSP).

. . . is the dairy product price support program the best use of federal resources to establish a safety net to help farmers cope with periods of low prices? Is it effective? I believe, the answer today on both counts, is no.

He says the DPPSP reduces total demand for US dairy products, dampens the ability to export and encourages foreign imports; acts as a disincentive to product innovation; supports dairy farmers elsewhere at the expense of US dairy farmers; it isn’t effectively managed to fulfil its objectives and the price levels it seeks to achieve aren’t relevant to farmers in 2010.

For all of these reasons, what NMPF is now focused upon is a transitional process that shifts the resources previously invested in the dairy product price support program, to the income protection program that I have discussed previously.

In summary, discontinuing the DPPSP would eventually result in higher milk prices for U.S. dairy farmers. By focusing on indemnifying against poor margins, rather than on a milk price target that is clearly inadequate, we can create a more relevant safety net that allows for quicker price adjustments, reduced imports and greater exports. As a result of our DPPSP, the U.S. has become the world’s balancing plant. As time marches on, so, too, must our approach to helping farmers.

He’s not suggesting an end to subsidies but it is an acceptance that the current subsidies don’t work which has been welcomed by Fonterra and Federated Farmers.

There is still a long way to go, however.

My geographically challenged post yesterday on US trade protection reminded Off Setting Behaviour of  a Washington Post story on how the dairy industry crushed  Hein Hettinga, an innovator who bested the price-control system.

It’s four year’s old and long – five pages – but an instructive, if depressing read, on the dangers of protection.


December 6 in history

December 6, 2009

On December 6:

1534 The city of Quito in Ecuador was founded by Spanish settlers led by Sebastián de Belalcázar.

                                                        

1648 Colonel Pride of the New Model Army purged the Long Parliament of MPs sympathetic to King Charles I of England, in order for the King’s trial to go ahead; came to be known as “Pride’s Purge“.

Colonel Thomas Pride refusing admission to the Presbyterian members of the Long Parliament.
Colonel Pride refusing admission to the Presbyterian members of the Long Parliament. (Engraving, c. 1652)

1768 The first edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica was published.

Encyclopædia Britannica logo.jpg  

1849 American abolitionist Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery.

1877  The first edition of the Washington Post was published.

WP01092008.jpg

1884 The Washington Monument in Washington D.C. was completed.

1897  London became the world’s first city to host licenced taxicabs.

1900  Agnes Moorehead, American actress, was born.

 

As Endora in Bewitched (1965)

1917 Finland declared independence from Russia.

1917  Halifax Explosion: In Canada, a munitions explosion killed more than 1900 people and destroys part of the City of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

1921 The Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in London by British and Irish representatives.

1922 The Irish Free State came into existence

Flag Coat of arms

1933 U.S. federal judge John M. Woolsey ruled that the James Joyce‘s novel Ulysses was not obscene.

UlyssesCover.jpg

1935 New Zealand’s first Labour government took office with Michael Josepph Savage as Prime Minister.

1947 The Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated.

1989 The École Polytechnique Massacre (or Montreal Massacre): an anti-feminist gunman murders 14 young women at the École Polytechnique in Montreal.

commemorative plaque in polished stone, deeply engraved with in circle with 14 small silver disks distributed around the circle. Inside, and under the university's logo and the legend "In Memoriam" are the names of the 14 victims and the date of the massacre 

1998 Hugo Chávez Frías, Venezuelan military officer and politician, was elected President of Venezuela.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Colour your map

November 5, 2008

The Washington Post has been running a competition to pick the president.

It’s too late to enter the contest but you can still create a map with your predictions, or to record results.

Hat Tip: Larvatusprodeo.


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