If the fabric of the nation were not at risk, it would be comic. Right after A Talk Radio Listener Spots The Latest Phony “Crops Rotting In The Fields” refuted Bloomberg’s Crops Rot While Trump-Led Immigration Backlash Idles Farm Work by pointing out that ample supplies of cheap Napa lettuce (the crop in question) are available, we get Dairy Farmers Say Trump’s Deportations Could Dry Up Milk Supply by Mark Niquette Bloomberg June 9, 2016
Trump’s proposal to deport undocumented immigrants and wall off the southern U.S. border has created an unexpected bastion of resistance: dairy farmers…even some dairy farmers who lean Republican are undecided or considering supporting Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in November.
One third of all U.S. dairy farms employed foreign-born workers in 2014, and half of all workers are immigrants, according to a survey by researchers at Texas A&M University commissioned by the National Milk Producers Federation in Arlington, Virginia.
A complete loss of immigrant labor could mean the elimination of more than 7,000 dairy farms and 208,000 jobs, a reduction in milk production by almost 50 billion pounds, and an increase in retail prices by 90 percent, the report found.
A few moments of googling presents a different picture.
Surplus drives down dairy farmer profits Mississippi Business Journal June 2 2016 reports
Producers are receiving $12.75 per hundredweight, or about $1.10 per gallon of milk. A year ago, they were being paid just under $20 per hundredweight.
Brian Williams, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the sharp decrease is driven by supply.
“Higher U.S. production combined with sharply higher European milk production has contributed to what is currently a global surplus,” Williams said. “The price of milk has experienced a linear downward trend since November, when futures were $16 per hundredweight. Overall U.S. production is up more than half a billion pounds from last month’s estimate and up from 208.6 billion pounds a year ago.”
America can’t eat its way out of this massive cheese problem by Charles Lane The Washington Post May 25 2016
…here comes a new issue: The Great Cheese Glut of 2016. The Wall Street Journal reports that as of March 31, 1.19 billion pounds had accumulated in commercial cold-storage freezers across the United States, the largest stockpile ever.
…the U.S. government has a long-standing pro-cheese-eating policy, which grew out of the need to do something with the subsidized excess of milk products generated by federal pro-production dairy policy — which, in turn, has persisted for decades despite declining consumer interest in drinking milk.
The reality is that the American dairy industry is being debauched by the flood of cheap illegal labor. I discussed this process in 2009 in Family Dairy Farms: Killed by Illegal Immigration. Huge factory farms, many in formerly weak dairy producing and thinly populated states like Idaho or New Mexico have sprung up.
To put it simply, without access to floods of immigrant labor, these Western factory farms would not be able get into business and destroy the Eastern family Dairy operations. Families businesses are tougher than mass employers. This industry is being destructively distorted because of the availability of imported cheap (frequently illegal) workers.
Needless to say, the big operators dominate the industry associations.
Bloomberg’s Mark Niquette is actually a better journalist than the lettuce story writer. He smuggles in enough facts make the reality apparent to the careful reader:
Dairy farms already are under pressure. Wholesale prices are less than half what they were two years ago, as record U.S. production rose faster than demand. American shoppers paid $3.16 per gallon on average in April, the lowest since 2010, government data show….
…as many as 70 percent of agricultural workers are undocumented, said Kristi Boswell, immigration lobbyist with the American Farm Bureau Federation
[VDARE.com emphasis] and (buried deep in the story)
Low wages are subsidized by taxpayers in the form of welfare, tax credits, education, housing and medical care, Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller said. The reliance on illegal labor also defers cost-reducing mechanization and lowers working conditions, he said.
“Cheap labor is not cheap,” Miller said by e-mail. “Open borders makes us all poorer in the end.”
Miller of course was formerly aide to SenatorJeff Sessions.