Ag Briefs: Class III Milk Price grazes 2014 mark

Wisconsin State Farmer
Midwest briefs


Class III Milk Price grazes 2014 mark

Farmers are hoping their share of this month's milk check will reflect the (unimagined three months ago price) of $24.54/cwt. released by the USDA for July for Class III milk.

The July price is $3.50 over June's price and a whopping $6.99 higher than the Federal Order Class III price this time last year. The last time the Class III price was this high was back in Oct. 2014 when it was announced at $26.40. 

A few short months ago farmers saw prices just above the $12 mark. The all milk price for June 2020 was $19.50/cwt., just $1.60 more than this time last year, according to the USDA.


2020 Falcon Frontier Days Rodeo cancelled

The 2020 Falcon Frontier Days Rodeo held at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls each fall will not be held this year.

Given concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, the UWRF Rodeo Club has decided to cancel the Falcon Frontier Days Rodeo scheduled for September 11 and 12.


220,000+ WI households to receive extra FoodShare benefits

The public health emergency declared by Governor Tony Evers on July 30 enables the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) to once again provide additional FoodShare benefits to eligible households. These benefits will help those Wisconsin families with the costs of food for July and August.

Wisconsin families received emergency benefits in March, April, and May; however, because the state was no longer under a public health emergency, families did not receive additional benefits in June. The additional July benefits will be available on QUEST cards on August 9, and the additional August benefits will be available on QUEST cards on August 23.


Judge dismisses lawsuit over farm story

A federal judge in Iowa has dismissed a $77.5 million lawsuit California Rep. Devin Nunes filed against a major media organization that alleged he was defamed in a magazine story about his family's Iowa dairy farm.

Nunes filed the lawsuit in September 2019 in federal court in Iowa against Esquire publisher Hearst Magazines and former reporter Ryan Lizza. It alleges a Sept. 30, 2018, story about the farm has caused "injury to his good name and professional reputation."

Judge C.J. Williams found that Nunes failed to prove that Lizza's article contained false and defamatory statements about him. according to an Associated Press report. 

Nunes in the latest lawsuit repeatedly refers to the Esquire story by Lizza, entitled "Devin Nunes's Family Farm Is Hiding a Politically Explosive Secret" as a "hit piece."

The story focused on Nunes' parents, brother and other family members who have lived and operated a family dairy farm in Sibley, Iowa for more than a decade even though Nunes continued to tout his deep roots around his family's Tulare, California, dairy farms.

Lizza claims Nunes and his family kept their move from California to Iowa a secret. The story also delves into the sensitive issue of immigrants living illegally in Iowa and working at the state's dairy farms.


Powerful derecho leaves path of devastation across Midwest

A rare storm packing 100 mph winds and with power similar to an inland hurricane swept across the Midwest, blowing over trees, flipping vehicles, causing widespread property damage and leaving hundreds of thousands without power as it moved through Chicago and into Indiana and Michigan.

The storm known as a derecho lasted several hours Monday as it tore from eastern Nebraska across Iowa and parts of Wisconsin and Illinois, had the wind speed of a major hurricane, and likely caused more widespread damage than a normal tornado, according to an Associated Press report.

Across Iowa, large trees fell on cars and houses. Some semi-trailers flipped over or were blown off highways. Farmers reported that some grain bins were destroyed and fields were flattened, but the extent of damage to Iowa's agriculture industry wasn't immediately clear.


USDA to buy $30M in shrimp to aid seafood industry

The Gulf of Mexico seafood industry is getting help from the federal government.

The USDAsays it will buy $30 million worth of shrimp from Gulf Coast fishermen in an effort to stabilize the industry, according to Associated Press.

The announcement comes after Louisiana and Mississippi officials called for federal assistance over fears that the price of seafood could collapse because of an excess in product amid the pandemic, news outlets reported.

Louisiana is the second-largest supplier of seafood in the nation.


Destructive European Chafer beetle discovered

The European chafer beetle, an insect that can cause major damage to turf grass, has been found for the first time in Minnesota.

A resident of south Minneapolis first noticed large swarms of beetles in their yard at dusk and reported the find to a University of Minnesota Extension entomologist who suspected the beetles were European chafers and reported them to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). The MDA worked with the USDA to confirm the identity of the insect since it had never been found in Minnesota before.

The European chafer beetle was discovered in the United States in 1940 in New York state and is currently found in the northeastern U. S., as well as Michigan and Wisconsin.

The grub of the European chafer can cause more damage to turf than Japanese beetles because it spends a longer portion of the summer feeding on turf. However, adults do not eat at all, so they do not defoliate other plants like Japanese beetles are known to do. Home lawns, golf courses, and turf growers could be significantly impacted if the European chafer beetle becomes established in Minnesota.