California dairy producers face a variety of headwinds, according to Daniel Sumner, Ag Economist, University of California, Davis.
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Source: Morning Ag Clips

“I think the dairy industry faces real challenges. It grew faster than tree nuts up through 2007, it was incredible growth. 40-50 years of growth, hit a wall, partly a regulatory wall, a feed price wall and milk prices collapse.”

Sumner says the competition in the United States is getting better.

“It’s Michigan, Wisconsin, the other parts of the Midwest, a little bit in the East. They have gotten better at it. Mostly, they’re just better competitors than they used to be. And I’ll tell you what happened. Much of the production in Wisconsin, you had five guys in the dairy business, four of them left and the best one is still in the dairy business, and he’s got 250 cows. And their milk production per cow went from way below California to now above California.”

He adds many U.S. producers don’t have the many regulations that California dairy producers have to comply with.

“There are lots of dairyman in California that are running large efficient operations for what they’ve got. But we face a set of regulations that they just don’t have, whether it’s environmental regulations or greenhouse gas regulations, you name it, go down the list, minimum wages, etc. Now, are those bad regulations? Good, bad or indifferent, they just are. It’s like sunshine, you say we got it, and in there you have it.”

UK negotiators have started talks with India over a potential free-trade agreement between the two countries.

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