Madison — Prices Wisconsin farmers received for commodity crops and livestock that they sold in October shared ups and downs, according to a late November report by the state's field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
On the upside was the average price of $117 per ton for baled alfalfa hay compared to $88 per ton in September 2016 and $102 in October of 2015, the report indicated. However, the price of other species of hay was down to $51 per ton in October compared to $59 in September and $57 per ton a year earlier.
Corn price pickup
Corn prices ticked up by 10 cents per bushel from September to an October average of $3.23 per bushel but still below the $3.57 in October of 2015. Oats followed a similar pattern with prices of $1.68 per bushel for October compared to $1.37 in September and $1.82 in October of 2015.
Soybean prices slid by 10 cents from September for an October price of $9.24 per bushel. This was above the October 2015 price of $8.56 per bushel.
In all those categories, the Wisconsin prices were lower than those across the United States in October. The national prices included $135 per ton for baled alfalfa hay, $121 per ton for other species of hay, $3.29 per bushel for corn, $2.03 per bushel for oats and $9.30 per bushel for soybeans.
The October price picture for potatoes was quite different, however. Wisconsin's potato growers enjoyed average selling prices of $11 per hundredweight for fresh potatoes and $8.60 per hundredweight for processing potatoes compared to United States average prices of $8.97 and $7.06 respectively. But compared to September of this year, the Wisconsin prices were down by $1 per hundredweight for fresh potatoes and by $2.20 per hundredweight for processing potatoes.
Livestock prices, which were reported for only the United States as a whole, were down across the board in comparisons with September of this year and October of 2015.
The per hundred price of $134 for calves was down by $100 from October of 2015 and by $8 from September. The October price of $101 per hundred for all beef cattle was down from the $108 in September and the $128 for October of 2015.
Prices for steers and heifers slipped to $102 per hundred in October from the $109 in September and the $129 for October in 2015. In the category for both cull dairy cows and beef cows being sent to slaughter, the October price was $65.40 per hundred compared to $74.50 in in September and $89.50 in October of 2015.
Hog prices slip
The same trend prevailed with the national prices for hogs in October. Barrows and gilts were selling for an average price of $42 per hundred — down from $47.90 in September and $55.40 in October of 2015. Prices for sows slumped to $33.20 per hundred in October compared to $46.30 in September and $57.40 in October of 2015.
Market prices for a dozen eggs dropped to an average of 21.2 cents in October, as is indicated by current supermarket prices of less than 50 cents per dozen. The per dozen prices received by egg producers had been 31.2 cents in September and $1.26 in October of 2015.