Friday, April 27, 2007

Senate Bill 431 is still alive

The folks over at the Jasper County Indiana Information website have posted an update on Senate Bill 431 along with contact information so you can voice your own opinions to the powers that be. Check it out through this link.

On a separate note, in the April 27 edition of Indiana Agrinews, it's reported that the Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director, Andy Miller, recently took a trip to Mexico to attend the Tri-National Agricultural Accord meetings.

A lot of the CAFO owners in Indiana may not realize it, but Canada and Mexico are two of our most important trading partners for agricultural products. Although Andy Miller attributes most of this to NAFTA, when it comes to Dairy Product Imports the Canadian imports websites suggest much of these imports are owing to the "Import for Re-export Program" (IREP).

Imports of dairy products under IREP reached approximately 73,093 tonnes in 2005, a 7% increase over the previous year and make up about 36% of total dairy imports. The main products imported under the program are whole milk powder, butter and fats, and oils derived from milk.

And where are most of these imports coming from?
In 2005, the largest suppliers of dairy products in terms of value were the European Union (39%), New Zealand (24%) and the United States (23%). Primary suppliers of specialty cheese were France ($39.9 million), Italy ($32.7 million) and the United States ($7 million). Germany was the primary supplier of casein products in 2005, accounting for over 51% of the total value of imports. Primary suppliers of butter and fats and oils derived from milk were New Zeland, Uruguay and Argentina, which make up 36%, 19% and 18% of the value respectively.

Keeping in mind, the rules for IREP are (see link for more detail):
Companies who hold an authorization to import dairy products under IREP must be the importer of record of those products. Product imported under IREP must be used exclusively to manufacture products that are subsequently exported. Diversion of product imported under IREP to the Canadian market is prohibited.

For USA CAFO Dairy owners, this is probably a good thing. Why? Because the use of flyash on dairies in Canada is heavily regulated -- many provinces consider flyash a hazardous substance (see this British Columbia document for one example).

And, of course, as everyone knows, the use of rBST is banned in Canada -- as well as other countries such as Japan, Australia, New Zealand and most of the EU. If dairy products were being imported to Canada from farms using this banned substance, I have a feeling many Canadian Dairy farmers might have a case for "dumping" ...and many Canadian consumers would have second thoughts about purchasing products made from such imports... wouldn't you?

The USA is relying heavily on exports to both Canada and Mexico, as can be seen when you view some of the speeches made at the recent 2007 Agriculture Outlook Forum. For CAFO owners, now is not a good time to be ticking off our neighbors to the North or South.

On a more personal note, my parents are coming for a visit (from Canada) this summer. I'll be giving them a first hand tour of Northwestern Jasper County (and parts of Newton County) so they can take plenty of pictures back home with them. Have any sightseeing tours that you recommend?


Kevin said...

I love your thought process!

kmyers said...

Thank you, Kevin