COW97 Ag News from Brownfield

Organic farmer finds success in smaller-scale lean farming

Organic farmer finds success in smaller-scale lean farming

An Indiana farmer is using the Toyota lean business model to make his small organic produce farm more profitable.  Ben Hartman and his family grow produce for nearby retail and private customers near Goshen, Indiana.  For the past 16 years, he has made the farm more profitable by eliminating waste instead of constantly growing and… ... Continue Reading
Midwest land values hit new peak; rate of increase slows

Midwest land values hit new peak; rate of increase slows

Ag land values in the Midwest continue to rise. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reports values in the Seventh District saw an annual increase of six percent in 2023.  However, David Oppedahl, Fed policy advisor, says that increase has slowed… “It was a little softer, you know, the first single digit increase in several… ... Continue Reading
January milk production down slightly on year

January milk production down slightly on year

U.S. milk production declined fractionally in January. The USDA says production in the top 24 states was 18.3 billion pounds, down nine tenths of a percent on the year, due to fewer cows, now at 8.873 million head, and lower average production of 2,062 pounds per cow. California claimed the top slots for production and… ... Continue Reading
Wisconsin proposal addresses local ordinances, Prop 12

Wisconsin proposal addresses local ordinances, Prop 12

Wisconsin lawmakers are considering legislation that supporters say would bring more certainty to livestock operations.  The Protect our Farms Act, Assembly Bill 957, would block cities, villages, and towns from having stricter animal welfare rules like housing and medications than the state already has, but Dairy Business Association lobbyist Chad Zuleger says the bill also… ... Continue Reading
Census shows fewer Wisconsin farms have Internet access

Census shows fewer Wisconsin farms have Internet access

The newly released USDA Census of Agriculture shows Wisconsin farms are still struggling to get Internet access. USDA statistician Greg Bussler says a higher percentage of farms had access to the Internet in 2022 compared to 2017. “In 2022, 79% of Wisconsin farms had Internet access with mobile Internet being the biggest way that farmers… ... Continue Reading
Wisconsin Senate passes two ag-related tax exceptions

Wisconsin Senate passes two ag-related tax exceptions

The Wisconsin State Senate has passed two bills that would allow Evansville and Stevens Point to assist agriculture-related development projects. Senate Bill 787 would allow Evansville to offer tax incremental financing assistance for a proposed CHS soybean crushing plant on the city’s southeast side.  Senate Bill 880 would allow Stevens Point to offer tax incremental… ... Continue Reading
Census of Ag shows Wisconsin’s agricultural values up 46%

Census of Ag shows Wisconsin’s agricultural values up 46%

USDA’s newly-released Census of Agriculture shows the value of Wisconsin’s agricultural production has grown considerably.  Greg Bussler is with the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Madison. He tells Brownfield, “Wisconsin farms produced 16.7 billion dollars of agricultural goods and so on, and that was an increase of 46% from 2017, and in fact, Wisconsin ranks… ... Continue Reading
Farmers, loggers, and towns urged to work together on road improvement grants

Farmers, loggers, and towns urged to work together on road improvement grants

Wisconsin’s local governments are encouraged to apply for one-time road improvement grants. The Agricultural Road Improvement Program (ARIP) has money to repair and upgrade local roads that impede business because of frequent weight limits. Jason Mugnaini with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau says farmers and loggers should encourage their towns to fill out the simple grant… ... Continue Reading
Wisconsin considers pro farming bill

Wisconsin considers pro farming bill

The Wisconsin Legislature is considering a bill that would prohibit local governments from adopting animal regulations in areas zoned for agricultural use that are more restrictive than the state law.  It is Assembly Bill 957, commonly known as the Protect our Farmers Act. Attorney and lobbyist Jordan Lamb tells Brownfield the proposal would protect against… ... Continue Reading
Wisconsin Soybean president concerned about regulations

Wisconsin Soybean president concerned about regulations

Commodity groups are concerned about regulations handcuffing farmers. Wisconsin Soybean president Sara Stelter says that was a big topic during the association’s annual meeting earlier this month. “We’re always concerned on a national level about what the EPA is doing, and how that might effect some of the tools we need to farm sustainably. So… ... Continue Reading
Researcher studies corn roots

Researcher studies corn roots

A researcher says there is a lot to learn about the roots of corn plants. Jim Schwartz with Beck’s Hybrids tells Brownfield some varieties have deep penetrating roots, while others spread out in a wider pattern, and that affects the nutrient uptake of the corn plant. “So, if you think about it, many nutrients are… ... Continue Reading
Tornados rip through Wisconsin, Illinois

Tornados rip through Wisconsin, Illinois

Tornadoes caused severe damage in Wisconsin and Illinois Thursday evening. One of the tornadoes touched down near Evansville, Wisconsin just before 6:00 pm.  Doug Rebout farms about ten miles south of where the storm touched down. He tells Brownfield, “One guy I know, their farm got totally destroyed, and then the Alcivia plant, which would… ... Continue Reading
Tornadoes rip through Wisconsin, Illinois

Tornadoes rip through Wisconsin, Illinois

Tornadoes caused severe damage in Wisconsin and Illinois Thursday evening. One of the tornadoes touched down near Evansville, Wisconsin just before 6:00 pm.  Doug Rebout farms about ten miles south of where the storm touched down. He tells Brownfield, “One guy I know, their farm got totally destroyed, and then the Alcivia plant, which would… ... Continue Reading
Wisconsin continuous beans research starting

Wisconsin continuous beans research starting

The likelihood of a new high-capacity soybean crushing facility in southern Wisconsin has researchers studying something they’ve never been comfortable with… beans on beans. Shawn Conley with the University of Wisconsin Soybean Program tells Brownfield the proposed CHS facility will tempt a lot of farmers to try growing continuous soybeans. “I think the economics in… ... Continue Reading
Warm winter leads to early maple syrup season

Warm winter leads to early maple syrup season

The unusually warm winter has led to an early maple syrup season.  Theresa Baroun is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Maple Syrup Producers Association.  She tells Brownfield it’s normal for producers to start tapping maple trees in southern Wisconsin in early March and see the central and northern producers start a week or two… ... Continue Reading
Crop insurance deadline looms

Crop insurance deadline looms

Farmers are preparing for the March 15th crop insurance deadline. Compeer Financial crop insurance officer Dan Kendall says projected new crop prices will be considerably lower compared to a year ago. “Last year for corn we had $5.91, this year we’re going to probably be hopefully in that $4.80 range. So less coverage, less dollars… ... Continue Reading
Wisconsin Soybean Association reinvents at 50

Wisconsin Soybean Association reinvents at 50

The Wisconsin Soybean Association recently celebrated 50 years, and the organization has seen growth and changes in the last couple of years.  Doug Monson with the Wisconsin Soybean Association tells Brownfield membership is growing, and more farmers are actively promoting soybeans. “Those types of things haven’t been happening for a long time. This organization has… ... Continue Reading
Small grains cost share available in 5 Midwest states

Small grains cost share available in 5 Midwest states

Farmers in five Midwest states are eligible to earn up to $20 an acre for raising a small grain this year. Lydia English with Practical Farmers of Iowa says the cost share program is for growers of barley, oats, cereal rye, triticale, and wheat in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. “The basic gist is… ... Continue Reading
Mild winter creates ag transportation problems

Mild winter creates ag transportation problems

A northern Wisconsin dairy and crop farmer says the unusually warm winter weather is causing transportation problems.  Ben Augustine farms near Sheldon, Wisconsin, where by now, there is usually a lot of snow and a deep frost… but not this year. “Even before this, there wasn’t much frost under the roads.” Augustine tells Brownfield many… ... Continue Reading
Wisconsin lawmakers hold hearings on two ag-related tax proposals

Wisconsin lawmakers hold hearings on two ag-related tax proposals

Wisconsin lawmakers held committee hearings on two ag-related tax bills Thursday. Jordan Lamb is an attorney and lobbyist, and she tells Brownfield the bills would allow both Evansville and Stevens Point to create tax incremental financing districts for new development beyond the existing limits. She says for Evansville, “CHS is working to build a brand… ... Continue Reading