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Category: Agriculture

What farmers are reading this week

Agriculture.com

Mark Stephenson and John Shutske with the University of Wisconsin-Madison say there are six specific things farmers, farm families, ag employers, and employees need to be aware of and plan for.

In fight to survive, US dairy farmers look for any tech edge

AP

After hitting a historic high in 2014 of more than $26 per 100 pounds on the strength of massive buying from China, the bottom fell out. When China stopped its milk-buying spree, there was already oversupply from both American and European Union producers, said Mark Stephenson, director of dairy policy analysis at the University of Wisconsin.

In Fight to Survive, US Dairy Farmers Look for Any Tech Edge

AP

After hitting a historic high in 2014 of more than $26 per 100 pounds on the strength of massive buying from China, the bottom fell out. When China stopped its milk-buying spree, there was already oversupply from both American and European Union producers, said Mark Stephenson, director of dairy policy analysis at the University of Wisconsin.

Dairy Margin Coverage

Farm and Dairy

Quoted: But the only major difference between MPP and DMC, says Mark Stephenson, is the cost and coverage levels, not the basic concept. Stephenson is the director of dairy policy analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Lawmakers release $10M plan to address water contamination in Wisconsin

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: It touted efforts it plans to focus on over the coming years, such as developing a program in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin to assist farmers to reduce leaching nitrates from fertilizer into groundwater. The report also noted the administration had started a program to monitor water chemistry and fish tissue near sites contaminated with PFAS.

‘You have this burden that you carry’: For dairy farmers struggling to hold on, depression can take hold

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: This winter, Wisconsin farm couples can attend workshops in Mineral Point, Wausau, Appleton, Waupun, Eau Claire and Rice Lake, aimed at helping them manage stress associated with financial problems.

The workshops, sponsored by the state agriculture department and University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, will include a segment on how to talk with children about problems on the farm, and decision-making when the farm may have to shut down.

Industrial dairy farming is taking over Wisconsin’s milk production, crowding out family operations and raising environmental concerns

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: Dean “had bigger, industrywide issues with the consumption of milk products. But the loss of the Walmart business was just another thing they didn’t need,” said Mark Stephenson, director of dairy policy analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

America’s milk industry is struggling

CNN via WISC-TV

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” Brian Gould, emeritus professor of agriculture and applied economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison told CNN Business. He said Suiza’s growth “wasn’t organic,” adding, “it was really just from the outside in.”

Governor Declares Energy Emergency As Farms, Rural Residents Create High Demand For Propane

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Joe Lauer, agronomist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said he started advising farmers to start buying propane over the summer after wet weather caused major planting delays across the state.

“Whenever that occurs, we typically have some fairly wet corn,” Lauer said. “We just haven’t gotten a break this year in terms of the weather. It’s been really cold and wet through most of the season.”

Meet Ontario’s asparagus man

The Star

Wolyn grew up in New Jersey and studied plant science at Rutgers University and then earned his masters and PhD in plant breeding and plant genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1988, he came to the University of Guelph, taking over the already decade-old Asparagus Breeding Program from the previous professor who died.

Wisconsin Dairy Economists Say 2020 Will Be ‘Restorative’ Year For The Industry

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: The production increase comes after several months of declines from 2018 levels. Mark Stephenson, director of dairy policy analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said he was surprised by the change.

“(There were) fewer cows than we’ve had in all of our earlier months of the year, so a continued decline there, but milk production per cow had a strong growth,” Stephenson said. “That usually doesn’t happen unless we have pretty good quality feed and a real strong incentive to produce milk.”

Harvest Struggles Across Wisconsin Could Impact Supply Of Livestock Feed

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Liz Binversie, agricultural educator for University of Wisconsin-Extension in Brown County, said she has heard farmers describe silage as like pickling vegetables.

“You’re kind of pickling the feed, right? You’re preserving it long term. And what’s doing that is the microbial population,” Binversie said.

New Survey Finds Wisconsin Fish Farmers Seeing Steady Demand

Wisconsin Public Radio

“Most of the fish farmers that we spoke with were already selling out of all their fish. So if they had more capacity, they could sell more fish,” said Bret Shaw, associate professor of life science communication from UW-Madison and an author of the study. “Some were even ordering in fish from other states and smoking it or processing it.”

Potential changes to nut milk, plant-based meat labels

NBC-15

Quoted: Steph Tai, a law professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said that farmer protection, not consumer confusion, is at the heart of the proposed legislation.

“If a consumer knows that we can use nut-based products in the same way that we’ve been using dairy-based products, then the concern from the dairy industry is that people will be substituting,” Tai said. “The same thing with plant based burgers. If people know that they could use it as an easy substitute and it tastes kind of the same, then they might just replace that, which will lead to undercutting the profits of livestock producers.”

Agronomist earns UW-Madison honorary recognition

Kenosha News

A tomato plant played a huge part in launching the career of Tim Boerner, who will receive Oct. 17 the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Honorary Recognition Award. Boerner was 9 years old when his grandfather gave him a tomato plant. That gift cultivated his lifelong interest in crops and agriculture in general. That interest also has helped innumerable Wisconsin farmers.

3 UW schools launch innovation hub to help Wisconsin’s dairy industry

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

With money now released by the Legislature, three University of Wisconsin System schools are launching the Dairy Innovation Hub to help tackle issues facing the state’s best-known industry.With money now released by the Legislature, three University of Wisconsin System schools are launching the Dairy Innovation Hub to help tackle issues facing the state’s best-known industry.

Wisconsin Veterinarian wins 2019 Honorary Klussendorf Award

Wisconsin State Farmer

Noted: From the moment she interviewed for the then soon-to-opened University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, this veterinarian embraced her new community and its grand cow show at World Dairy Expo. Throughout the process, McGuirk helped transform dairy cattle health care.

Extremely Wet Fall Challenging Farmers Waiting For A Window To Spread Manure

Wisconsin Public Radio

“We’ve not been able to get the corn/sileage off nor the other crops in order to make those applications. A lot of farmers have been waiting for weather conditions to improve so they can get that manure out there,” said Kevin Erb, conservation professional training coordinator with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension.

State budget committee releases funding for suicide hotline

Wisconsin State Journal

Other items: Members of the committee also voted unanimously to release $1 million this year and nearly $8 million next year provided in the state budget for a UW System Dairy Innovation Hub housed at UW-Madison, UW-Platteville and UW-River Falls. Committee members also voted to release $22.5 million annually in performance-based funding to the UW System.

Analysis: 8 Percent of Wisconsin’s Corn Crop Is Mature

Ag Pro

It’s no secret it’s another tight year for row crop farmers in the Corn Belt and Upper Midwest. Analysts say the uncertainty hasn’t changed.

“That’s the status of the farm economy,” said Paul Mitchell, an economist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “It’s waiting for results for this uncertainty while we go in to harvest.”

Billions of dollars are at stake as Wisconsin debates whether to legalize marijuana

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: If Wisconsin were to legalize cannabis for medical uses, there would be a net $1.1 billion positive effect, bringing in additional fees and health benefits while potentially reducing opioid overdoses, addiction and traffic fatalities over five years, according to a cost-benefit analysis by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs. If the state were to decriminalize cannabis, it would save an additional $30 million in decreased criminal justice costs.

Renewable plastics out of corn cobs

Wisconsin State Journal

When Pyran’s chemical engineering team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison embarked on their new project aimed at tackling the enormous problem of replacing oil to make paints and plastics, they had a feeling they would generate some interesting research, but the discovery they made surprised even them.