Ag News: Ag Labor Wages Up
**Produce companies are competing for scarce talent in a tight economy, and that translates to better benefits and higher compensation than a few years ago.
According to the World at Work Survey, projected salary increases for U.S. employers in 2019 range from 3.1% to 3.2%, similar to the last few years.
Thepacker.com reports, low unemployment levels are putting a strain on U.S. companies, with projected unemployment of only about 3.7% in 2019, the lowest rate since 1969.
**In the latest World Ag Supply and Demand Estimates, USDA confirmed what analysts have been saying the past few months: higher milk prices are on the horizon.
According to milkbusiness.com, USDA numbers show milk production is lowered from last month on slower-than-anticipated growth in milk per cow and lower expected cow numbers.
The report adds, the 2020 milk production forecast is reduced from last month as higher feed costs are expected to weaken producer margins.
**More than 900 food and ag companies and associations have asked Senate and House leadership to move quickly to approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
Agrimarketing.com reports, the American Farm Bureau Federation and more than 200 state and county Farm Bureaus signed the letter noting the International Trade Commission estimates the new agreement will add $68.2 billion to annual gross domestic product.
The letter adds, "USMCA builds on the success of the NAFTA agreement, and will ultimately lead to freer markets and fairer trade."