COW97 Ag News from Brownfield

Biden, Vilsack to meet Wisconsin farmers Tuesday

Biden, Vilsack to meet Wisconsin farmers Tuesday

Biden, Vilsack to meet Wisconsin farmers Tuesday

President Biden and Ag Secretary Vilsack will be on a Wisconsin farm next Tuesday.  Congressman Ron Kind tells Brownfield it is always good to welcome the President of the United States in his home area. “It’s going to give us an opportunity to get to a family farm, talk about the Build Back Better plan, what it means for rural Wisconsin and rural America for our family farmers in particular, and it will be a good opportunity to talk to him about the issues we’re wrestling with.”

Kind says the location and details of the President’s visit have not been announced yet.

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Wisconsin bill would assist in repairing washouts, waterways

Wisconsin bill would assist in repairing washouts, waterways

Wisconsin bill would assist in repairing washouts, waterways

The Wisconsin State Assembly passed legislation that would help farmers and other landowners repair washouts and restore wetlands, streams, and floodplains.  State Representative Loren Oldenburg of Viroqua told his fellow elected officials the bill is like one offered last year that did not become law. “One of the things different in this bill is the, ah, took the council out of it so it goes right strictly to the DNR to speed the permit process up  here.”

Oldenburg says if passed, the hydrologic restoration legislation would help the Department of Natural Resources issue permits more quickly, “and help do some flood mitigation going forward, get these creeks and these places where they flood a little bit easier, get them back to where they were restored before, so, great bill.”

The amended bill now goes back to the State Senate for consideration.  If passed, the bill would create a hydrologic restoration and management advisory council and would encourage better interagency cooperation on projects.

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Wisconsin Assembly passes three food labeling bills

Wisconsin Assembly passes three food labeling bills

Wisconsin Assembly passes three food labeling bills

Wisconsin’s meat and dairy labeling legislation is a step closer to becoming law.  Three bills passed the State Assembly Tuesday that would require food labels not to use terms like milk, cheese, and yogurt if the product did not come from a mammal, and it would stop cultured or plant-based meat substitutes from using the term “meat.”

Rep. Travis Tranel

Representative Travis Tranel was the primary author for one of the dairy bills.

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Wisconsin’s meat and dairy labeling bills set for Tuesday vote

Wisconsin’s meat and dairy labeling bills set for Tuesday vote

Wisconsin’s meat and dairy labeling bills set for Tuesday vote

The three Wisconsin bills that call for truth in labeling for meat, milk, and dairy products will get a vote from the full State Assembly Tuesday. 

Assembly Bill 73 would prohibit use of the terms cream, yogurt, or cheese unless the product was derived solely from the milk of mammals.  Assembly Bill 74 would prohibit the use of the term “milk” by imitation products as soon as ten other states pass a similar law.  Assembly Bill 75 would require any product labeled “meat” to contain the edible flesh of an animal and is not produced by cultured animal tissue or plant-based materials.

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Rain arrives for dry Wisconsin crops

Rain arrives for dry Wisconsin crops

Rain arrives for dry Wisconsin crops

Dry conditions with above-normal temperatures dominated Wisconsin’s weather last week.  USDA reporters say the state received significant rainfall Thursday and Sunday, but the amounts of rain varied around the state.  They say it is still too early to tell how crops and pastures will recover after getting the much-needed rain.

Topsoil is still 34% short and 19% very short with 46% of the state having adequate moisture.

Corn condition dropped two points to 69% good-to-excellent.  Soybeans fell three points to 62% good-to-excellent.

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Mixtures of grasses and legumes help hay quality and quantity

Mixtures of grasses and legumes help hay quality and quantity

Mixtures of grasses and legumes help hay quality and quantity

An extension forage specialist says planting a mixture of forage plants can often ensure a better hay crop.

Clark County Wisconsin ag agent Richard Halopka tells Brownfield when using a monoculture system, you often get all or nothing, so it is wise to plant some insurance with the alfalfa. “That alfalfa legume added into that grass is very beneficial, not only supplying nitrogen for that grass crop, but it also brings in another component where if we get a dry spell, some of those legumes will come through where those grasses might take a vacation.”

Halopka says with corn, soybeans, and byproducts costing more now, farmers are working to get the most from their alfalfa hay.

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Wisconsin ag educator, state FFA advisor dies

Wisconsin ag educator, state FFA advisor dies

Wisconsin ag educator, state FFA advisor dies

Wisconsin’s state FFA advisor at the Department of Public Instruction, ag educator, and former teacher of the year Jeff Hicken died Friday after nearly a month of medical complications. 

The 47-year-old started his career as the agricultural instructor and FFA advisor at Sauk Prairie High School in 1998.  He also received the Association of Agricultural Educators Outstanding Young Member Award and served on the National FFA Board of Directors. 

A public visitation will be held at 10:00 am Saturday morning and again after the 2:00 pm memorial service at Waupun Junior/Senior High School in Waupun, WI.

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Southern Wisconsin farmer hopes rainy forecast is correct

Southern Wisconsin farmer hopes rainy forecast is correct

Southern Wisconsin farmer hopes rainy forecast is correct

The lack of rain has farmers worried about how long their crops can hang in there. 

Doug Rebout, his brothers, and mother partner to raise 4,000 acres of corn and soybeans, and do some custom dairy heifer raising for a neighboring farm.  Rebout tells Brownfield as of Thursday, their Janesville, Wisconsin area farm had not had rain since before Memorial Day and he’s amazed the corn looks as good as it does. “If you go down about four to five inches in many areas, you can start seeing a little bit of moisture there, so that’s one thing that’s saving the corn right now is those root systems are going down and finding that moisture.”

Rebout says subsoil moisture is all they’ve got since everything is dry on top, and he credits crop residue with helping hold some of that valuable moisture.

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Farm show exhibitors face post-COVID challenges

Farm show exhibitors face post-COVID challenges

Farm show exhibitors face post-COVID challenges

Many farm shows are back this summer after a year off during the pandemic but preparing for the show remains challenging.

Wisconsin Farm Technology Days Exhibitor Coordinator Anna Maenner says there are 480 exhibitors from 23 states so far, but the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted some international exhibitors. “We do have nine Canadian companies that are participating in the show. Those are the ones that do have dealerships or offices in the United States.

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Hay market remains steady

Hay market remains steady

Hay market remains steady

A University of Wisconsin Extension specialist says even with first crop hay looking good, prices and demand in the hay market remain steady.

Richard Halopka tells Brownfield prime hay with a relative feed value over 151 and Grade 1 hay between 125 and 150 relative feed value is still in demand. “We’re running about a buck, buck-and-a-quarter per point of relative feed value.”

Large square bales of prime hay are averaging $221 a ton, with Grade 1 hay averaging $158 a ton. 

Halopka says the lower grades are steady on price, but farmers are not buying it now.  He says many farmers are wrapping up harvest on a good first crop, which might start to affect the markets if demand drops.

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Soil moisture levels are a growing concern in Wisconsin

Soil moisture levels are a growing concern in Wisconsin

Soil moisture levels are a growing concern in Wisconsin

Wisconsin farmers were able to do field work every day last week, but there are growing concerns about soil moisture levels.  Topsoil moisture is 36% short and 23% very short, with only 40% of topsoil reported as adequate.  Subsoil moisture is 35% short and 16% very short.  The southeastern part of the state has the driest conditions with 69% of topsoil being very short of moisture.  USDA reporters say only north-central Wisconsin received significant rain in the week ending Sunday.

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Dairy Business Innovation Alliance launches grant program

Dairy Business Innovation Alliance launches grant program

Dairy Business Innovation Alliance launches grant program

A dairy partnership is launching a new dairy innovation grant program.  The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance’s Industry Impact Grant Program will distribute up to a million dollars in reimbursable grants ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 to develop new revenue streams, new uses for dairy ingredients and products, and solving challenges in the dairy industry.

The grants do not need matching funds and are available to applicants working with a dairy plant in the DBIA five-state region including Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

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Judge stops USDA payments, loan forgiveness for farmers of color

Judge stops USDA payments, loan forgiveness for farmers of color

Judge stops USDA payments, loan forgiveness for farmers of color

A court has ordered USDA and the Biden administration not to move forward with preferential payments to Black farmers and other farmers of color.

Judge William Griesbach in Wisconsin’s Eastern District U.S. District Court issued a temporary restraining order Thursday against Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack preventing USDA from forgiving any farm loans or paying 20% of those loans back to the farmers until the court rules on a request for an injunction.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is representing a dozen farmers in nine states including Minnesota, South Dakota, Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas, Oregon, and Kentucky saying the Biden administration’s plan discriminates against white farmers.

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USDA sees bigger winter wheat crop

USDA sees bigger winter wheat crop

USDA sees bigger winter wheat crop

The USDA has raised its estimate for the 2021 U.S. winter wheat crop.

Production is now seen at 1.309 billion bushels, up 26 million from May, on a more than 1 bushel per acre rise in the average yield estimate, expecting record yields in Missouri and Montana. Average yield is expected to be 53.2 bushels per acre, compared to 52.1 a month ago and 50.9 a year ago, with 2021 harvested area of at 24.612 million acres, compared to 23.024 million in 2020.

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Lobbyist says farmers can help steer local road improvements

Lobbyist says farmers can help steer local road improvements

Lobbyist says farmers can help steer local road improvements

A lobbyist says farmers should approach their local governments now to get their local roads and bridges repaired. 

Jordan Lamb with DeWitt Law represents several Wisconsin agriculture organizations at the state capitol, and she says President Biden’s American Rescue Plan did send some federal infrastructure dollars directly to local governments. “So if any of you or your neighbors or your family members serve on county boards or even town boards, you got, likely, an allocation of federal money specific towards infrastructure projects.

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Agronomist says it’s not too soon to focus on corn for silage

Agronomist says it’s not too soon to focus on corn for silage

Agronomist says it’s not too soon to focus on corn for silage

Dekalb Asgrow agronomist Sammie Brantner tells Brownfield there are still things farmers can do now to help their corn silage crop.  She says farmers should focus on fertility, weed control, and disease control. “Fertility right now, I mean, there’s plenty of time if we need to go out and put on that extra shot of nitrogen or sulfur. I’m always a fan of that second pass, especially early in the year for how dry we were.”

Brantner says the timing for applying fertilizer is a bit different when the corn will be used for silage.

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Wisconsin’s Governor pledges another round of farmer-direct relief payments

Wisconsin’s Governor pledges another round of farmer-direct relief payments

Wisconsin’s Governor pledges another round of farmer-direct relief payments

Wisconsin’s Governor confirms there will be another direct payment to ag producers from federal COVID-19 relief funds.

Tony Evers told reporters Monday, “We wanted to get the Main Street ones, the small business one out ASAP and we are in the process of looking at and very likely be able to get some money out to the farmers of this state.”

The Governor says the new round of pandemic assistance is still being planned, and he is looking for input from farmers, farm groups, and others in agribusiness.

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Wisconsin weather good for haying, not for growing crops

Wisconsin weather good for haying, not for growing crops

Wisconsin weather good for haying, not for growing crops

Wisconsin farmers put up a lot of hay last week, while wondering when their other crops might see some much-needed rain.  USDA reporters say dry conditions worsened in southern and southeastern Wisconsin as most of the state had little or no precipitation in the week ending Sunday.

Topsoil moisture is only 64% adequate, with 24% short on moisture and 9% very short.

Many farmers around the Badger state had to replant some frost-damaged corn and soybeans last week, too.

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Wisconsin farmers have ongoing and new legislative priorities

Wisconsin farmers have ongoing and new legislative priorities

Wisconsin farmers have ongoing and new legislative priorities

An attorney who lobbies for Wisconsin agricultural organizations says there are many familiar issues and a couple of new ones that need funding by state lawmakers.

Jordan Lamb with the DeWitt Law Firm told the Wisconsin Pork Association it has been known for decades Wisconsin’s meat processing supply chain needs additional investment and redundancy. “I think the world has learned we need redundancy. There are shortages in wood products and computer chips, and you can’t buy a car because there isn’t a computer chip.

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Dry conditions are forcing earlier-than-normal post-emergence weed spraying

A weed scientist says the dry weather is forcing many farmers to apply post-emergence herbicides a lot earlier than they had planned.

Dr. Rodrigo Werle with the University of Wisconsin says, “The topsoil as been really dry meaning that the pre-herbicides are not doing what they are supposed to be doing right now.”

Werle tells Brownfield the pre-emergence herbicides might be failing to kill weeds because they needed moisture to activate, and because it is dry, the weeds have the advantage.

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