COW97 Ag News from Brownfield

Tasks pile up during wet weather

Tasks pile up during wet weather

A Wisconsin farmer says a lot of fieldwork needs to be done, but it must stop raining first.  Chris Dukelow and his family farm near Abbotsford.  He tells Brownfield they’ve been struggling and there’s a lot to catch up on. “We’ve got 450 out of 800 acres of corn in. We have our 200 acres… ... Continue Reading
Wisconsin planting, tillage continues as first hay readies

Wisconsin planting, tillage continues as first hay readies

Most of Wisconsin was able to make good progress with tillage and planting last week, but some areas were too wet. USDA statistician Greg Busler says 5.2 days were suitable for fieldwork in the week ending Sunday, with tillage and planting continuing and some farmers cutting first crop hay. Corn planting is now 66% finished… ... Continue Reading
Farmers, crop insurance agents expecting some prevent plant

Farmers, crop insurance agents expecting some prevent plant

The frequent rain with few dry days for field work have farmers and crop insurance agents preparing for some prevent plant claims. Amy Penterman tells Brownfield, “I’m getting nervous, too, especially with some of these northern counties with heavy soil that haven’t been able to turn any dirt yet.” Penterman and her husband operate a… ... Continue Reading
Dairy Innovation Hub research explores soil and water management

Dairy Innovation Hub research explores soil and water management

Progress is being shared on several research projects within Wisconsin’s Dairy Innovation Hub, including work to improve nutrient management. The Dairy Innovation Hub is facilitating hundreds of research projects across the University of Wisconsin campuses in Platteville, River Falls, and Madison, and Matt Ruarck from UW Madison has projects focused on soil and water health.… ... Continue Reading
Early signs show good 1st hay crop

Early signs show good 1st hay crop

An agronomist says while corn and soybean planting remain a top priority, first crop hay is also on their minds. “First crop is defiinitely knocking on the door here. Some people have it made already.” Bob Berkevich from Pioneer in southeastern Wisconsin tells Brownfield it seems to be a more normal first crop hay as… ... Continue Reading
Dairy Innovation Hub researchers share findings at symposium

Dairy Innovation Hub researchers share findings at symposium

Dairy Innovation Hub researchers share findings at symposium

Researchers in Wisconsin’s Dairy Innovation Hub shared their findings so far during a symposium Wednesday. 

Dr. Heather White is the faculty director for the Dairy Innovation Hub, and she tells Brownfield over 200 researchers are working on long-term projects in core areas as well as short-term studies that might give farmers and processors new answers in a matter of weeks. “At the symposium, we’re featuring projects that are later in their funding stage, so these are projects that are wrapping up, where we’re looking at data, we’re seeing what the end results are, and researchers are here talking and networking, collaborating on what the next steps are.”

White says one of the research projects that will be published soon is about cattle methane emissions.

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Wisconsin dairy farm loss rate constant

Wisconsin dairy farm loss rate constant

Wisconsin dairy farm loss rate constant

A University researcher says the rate of Wisconsin dairy farm losses has been constant.  Ag Economist Jeremy Foltz tells Brownfield Wisconsin has about half as many dairy farms as it did twenty years ago. “It’s particularly older farmers and smaller farms and farms that are less productive, that is, have cows that produce less milk per cow.”

State statistics show Wisconsin loses about 7% of its dairy farms each year, and Foltz says their research found the business structure of the farm didn’t make a difference, as large and small farms left the dairy business at the same rate. 

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Cookies cut cow feed costs

Cookies cut cow feed costs

A Wisconsin dairy farmer is lowering his cost of production with an unusual feed ingredient.  Dave Daniels and his multi-family dairy partnership are using cookie waste to replace some of the corn silage and more expensive feed additives. “The dry matter content is probably in that 90-92%, somewhere in there, so it’s going to be… ... Continue Reading
Too soon for earlier maturity seeds

Too soon for earlier maturity seeds

An agronomist says it’s too early to switch to earlier maturity seed varieties.  Scott Rowntree with Pioneer in Wisconsin tells Brownfield university research shows farmers should stick with their chosen hybrids through at least the 25th of May. “Often, we don’t want to switch to earler-season varieties until we get to at least that point,… ... Continue Reading
Wisconsin completes trade mission to Chile

Wisconsin completes trade mission to Chile

Wisconsin officials are building on their trade relationship with Chile.  Ag Secretary Randy Romanski tells Brownfield a trade delegation spent the first week of May on South America’s west coast promoting Wisconsin products. “It’s incumbent upon our agency to develop those relationships with Wisconsin businesses, with Wisconsin farmers, processors, and help them find their market… ... Continue Reading
Solar flares disrupt machinery guidance

Solar flares disrupt machinery guidance

The geomagnetic storm that brought a beautiful weekend northern lights display also brought trouble for farmers who rely on GPS machinery guidance.  John Eron farms in central Wisconsin, and tells Brownfield there were a lot of wandering planters and sprayers because the solar flares interfered with the Wide Area Augmentation System or WAAS satellites. “Anybody… ... Continue Reading
Tight margins mean thinking differently about inputs

Tight margins mean thinking differently about inputs

An agriculture educator says farmers should consider a different approach to remain profitable when margins are tight. Mike Sabel tells Brownfield with low commodity prices and high input costs, it’s important for farmers to avoid being penny wise and dollar foolish. “There are ways where we can cut costs and one way that I suggest… ... Continue Reading
U.S. hay stocks up on year

U.S. hay stocks up on year

The USDA says U.S. hay stocks are above a year ago. On May 1st, 2024, the domestic hay supply was 21.01 million tons, up 6.677 million on the year because of recent improvements in pasture conditions in some areas lowering demand. Hay supply and demand, and hay prices, are highly regional and can vary widely… ... Continue Reading
USDA anticipating rise in winter wheat crop

USDA anticipating rise in winter wheat crop

The USDA sees a larger winter wheat crop in 2024. The projected crop of 1.278 billion bushels is 2% above 2023, following increased acreage totals, significantly improved crop weather in some key growing areas, and a slightly higher average yield, up 0.1 bushel per acre to 50.7. The harvested area total of 25.198 million acres… ... Continue Reading
Buffer zones around fields prevent deer damage

Buffer zones around fields prevent deer damage

A soil and water conservation agent says planting grasses and legumes along the perimeter of fields not only helps control soil and nutrient loss, but also reduces deer damage to crops. Shane Wucherphennig from Wood County, Wisconsin tells Brownfield buffers usually take deer out of the crop because they prefer to eat the species planted… ... Continue Reading
Farm Bureau President says nutrition guidelines “missed an opportunity”

Farm Bureau President says nutrition guidelines “missed an opportunity”

Wisconsin’s Farm Bureau President praises USDA’s recently-announced school nutrition guidelines for keeping flavored milk in school meals, but he says the agency missed an opportunity.  Brad Olson tells Brownfield the guidelines continue to allow skim and fat-free regular and flavored milks, but should follow the science and allow 2% and whole options as well. “We… ... Continue Reading
Knigge shares twenty-four years of robotic milking experience

Knigge shares twenty-four years of robotic milking experience

The Wisconsin dairy producer who was the first in the nation to install robotic milking machines is now on his third robotic milking system. Pete Knigge tells Brownfield his first robots were installed in August of 2000, but he’s upgraded about every ten years. “Like our cellphones and computers, they all get better and give… ... Continue Reading
Cherry production lower, cranberry production higher in 2023

Cherry production lower, cranberry production higher in 2023

Tart cherry production was down in the United States last year.  Overall, 41 million fewer pounds were produced in 2023, with just 200.2 million pounds grown.  USDA says there was about one-thousand fewer acres in production, and yield-per-acre was about one-thousand pounds per acre less than 2022. Michigan leads the nation in tart cherry production… ... Continue Reading
More rain delays planting in Wisconsin

More rain delays planting in Wisconsin

Rainy weather is keeping planters out of Wisconsin fields. Mark Hoffmann raises corn and soybeans near Whitewater, in the southeastern part of the state.  He tells Brownfield he was able to plant some soybeans Monday, but the Tuesday rains brought everything to a stop. “If we get some sun and wind, we could probably dry… ... Continue Reading
Rain slows many Wisconsin farmers anxious to plant

Rain slows many Wisconsin farmers anxious to plant

Weather continues to slow down planting progress for many Wisconsin farmers.  USDA statistician Greg Busler says only 3.2 days were suitable for fieldwork in the week ending Sunday, and  the rains benefited small grains and grasses but held back field activities like tillage, planting, and fertilizer applications for many, especially in the northern two-thirds of… ... Continue Reading