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MADISON

Prices received by Wisconsin farmers for soybeans, corn, potatoes, and hogs that they sold during May were higher but those for other agricultural crops and cattle were lower compared to April of this year or May of 2015, according to a report in late June by the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Soybeans were the highlight on the upside of the price comparisons, rising to an average of $9.69 per bushel in May within the state — up by 70 cents from April and by 29 cents from May of 2015. Across the United States, the soybean price rose by 72 and 18 cents per bushel respectively on those comparisons.

The $3.57 per bushel average price for corn during May in Wisconsin was an increase of 7 cents from April and of 9 cents from May of 2015. The United States corn price of $3.68 per bushel for May was up by 10 cents from April and by 4 cents from May of 2015.

For potatoes, the average price for May in Wisconsin jumped to $11.40 per hundredweight compared to $9.65 in April and $10.70 in May of 2015. That price covered all potatoes — those for table stock, processing, seed, and livestock feed. The United States average price for potatoes in May was $9.80 per hundredweight — down by 14 cents from April but up by 54 cents from May of 2015.

Hay prices fall

Prices in May for baled hay were down significantly from a year ago. For all baled hay, the Wisconsin prices averaged $82 per ton compared to $128 in May of 2015 and $89 in April of this year. The United States average was at $140 per ton compared to $146 in April and $175 in May of 2015.

The statistical report also had a breakout for the types of hay. The alfalfa hay prices for Wisconsin were $90 per ton in May, $96 in April, and $136 in May of 2015. The respective per ton prices for other types of hay were $55, $67, and $86.

Across the United States, however, the prices in those categories were much higher for May than those in Wisconsin. They averaged $140 per ton for all baled hay, $147 for alfalfa, and $122 for other types of hay.

Prices for oats were down in the comparisons for Wisconsin. The May average of $1.64 per bushel was 1 cent less than in April but $1.29 less than for May of 2015. For the United States, the May price average of $2.26 per bushel was up by 29 cents from April but down by 64 cents from May of 2015.

Livestock prices vary

In statistics reported only for the United States, prices during May were down for cattle but higher for hogs than in April. Prices for calves averaged $173 per hundredweight during May compared to $183 in April and $288 in May of 2015.

For all beef cattle, the May average was $128 per hundredweight compared to $131 in April and $160 in May of 2015. Prices for dairy and beef cows sent to slaughter averaged $79.60 per hundredweight in May, $81.50 in April, and $114 in May of 2015. For steers and heifers, the price averages were $129 per hundredweight in May, $133 in April, and $161 in May of 2015.

The May prices for all hogs averaged $57.20 per hundredweight compared to $51 in April and $58.90 in May of 2015. Barrows and gilts had respective average prices of $57.50, $51.40, and $60 while the average prices for sows were $49 per hundredweight in May, $41.30 in April, and $31.40 in May of 2015.

Traced to the effect of the outbreak of the avian flu virus in the spring of 2015, the market price for eggs plunged for April and May of this year. The average price per dozen was $1.61 in May of 2015 but it fell to 39 cents for April and 24.1 cents for May of this year.

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