Ag briefs: Wisconsin Cafe open at Farm Discovery Center

Wisconsin State Farmer


Wisconsin soybeans on track for record-breaking production

If figures forecasted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hold true, Wisconsin will see its highest soybean production on record and the second highest corn production. 

According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Crop Production report, soybean production is forecasted at a record 115 million bushels, 7.25 million bushels more than the previous record of 107 million bushels in 2016. The yield forecast is unchanged from the Aug. 1 forecast at 50 bushels per acre, 3 bushels above 2017. 

Soybean planted acreage is estimated at 2.3 million acres with 2.29 million to be harvested, according to the NASS report. 

The corn production forecast of 537 million bushels trails trails 573 bushels produced in 2016.

Based on conditions as of Sept. 1, yields are expected to average a record 179 bushels per acre, an increase of 2.0 bushels per acre from the Aug. 1 forecast and up five bushels per acre from last year. If realized, this will be the highest corn yield on record surpassing 178 bushels per acre in 2016, according to the NASS report. 


Wisconsin Cafe now open in Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center

The Wisconsin Café offers Wisconsin-sourced options for breakfast, lunch and catering. The Café is open daily from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with prices ranging from $3 to $11.

Some highlights on the menu include; breakfast sandwiches and paninis featuring Sargento cheese, Blueberry Cheese Bombs made with Henning’s cheese, grass-fed Angus burgers, Wisconsin-crafted walnut burgers, an espresso bar, delicious bakery and green salads with an array of local produce, fresh fruit and even Caprine Supreme goat feta.

For more information contact Jenni Appel, Café Manager at 920-726-6010, or visit our Facebook page or website at

Admission is not required to enjoy the Wisconsin Café.


National Farmers Union honors congressional champions of family agriculture

Senator Tammy Baldwin and Representative Mark Pocan are among 26 U.S. Senators and Representatives recognized by National Farmers Union (NFU) for demonstrating leadership and support at the federal policy making level for farmers, ranchers and their rural communities. 

The legislators received the Golden Triangle Award, the family farm organization’s highest legislative honor, was presented to each recipient at an awards reception on Sept. 13, during NFU’s Fall Legislative Fly-In.

“The Golden Triangle Award recognizes farm and food champions in Congress that display outstanding leadership on the issues that are important to both our industry and our organization. We’re appreciative of their insight and devotion to securing the nation’s food supply for the good of both American family farmers and consumers,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.


Winery loses grape harvest in night time heist

A Virginia winery has lost almost its entire crop of grapes in a nighttime theft, just hours before it was to be harvested.

Firefly Hill Vineyards co-owner Allison Dunkenberger told The Roanoke Times on Wednesday that the more than 2 tons of grapes were worth up to $25,000, and not covered by insurance. 

Dunkenberger says the theft could have only been orchestrated by people familiar with the winery's operations.


Ag business fire in northern Illinois prompts evacuations

A factory and several homes were evacuated after fire broke out at an agriculture business in rural northern Illinois.

The fire broke out about 3 a.m. Friday at the Nutrien Ag Solutions facility near the Lee County community of Amboy.

Amboy Fire Chief Jeff Bryant says about 50 residents and some 30 workers at a nearby factory were evacuated from the area because of concerns about possible contamination from herbicides stored in the building about 40 miles southwest of Rockford.

While fire destroyed much of the facility, Bryant says no chemicals leaked from their storage tanks. The evacuation order was lifted after about four hours.

No injuries were reported. No workers were inside the business when the fire broke out and a cause for the blaze wasn't immediately determined.


Wyoming tomato farmer pleads guilty to growing marijuana

 An organic tomato farmer in Wyoming pleaded guilty to federal charges of growing marijuana and money laundering.

Stewart Doty of Big Piney faces about two years in prison when he is sentenced in November. He also must forfeit $63,000 in cash seized during a search of his property in August 2017.

Doty, who is 61, pleaded guilty Thursday to growing and distributing between 88 and 132 pounds (40 and 60 kilograms) of marijuana and depositing $35,000 in marijuana proceeds in a Colorado bank account.

KTWO-AM reports Doty told U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl that his farming business had been declining and his debts were mounting so he converted about a third of his tomato greenhouse to growing marijuana.

Doty said he knew it was illegal, but didn't realize the severity of the crime.