Ag Brief: April all milk price reached $18.80

Wisconsin State Farmer
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No one injured in FDL Co. barn fire

Eight fire departments responded to a barn fire in Fond du Lac County over Memorial Day weekend. According to the Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office, the Commuications Center received a 911 call regarding a barn fire at W247 Kiel Road, in the Township of Calumet.

Officials reported that the fire was contained to the foundation level of the barn. Miscellaneous wood items inside were destroyed. No people or livestock were injured. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


Former Packer teams up with DFW

LeRoy Butler is teaming up with Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin to share what he has learned by visiting Wisconsin dairy farms. Through social media throughout the year Butler will share messaging to help better educate consumers about dairy farming, DFW said on its Facebook page.

DFW took Butler to visit two Wisconsin dairy farms. Kurt and Sarah Loehrs' Forest Ridge Holsteins near Eden and Joe and Chris Bonlender's Clover Hill Dairy outside of Campbellsport to get answers to questions Butler sees or hears through his social media or media appearances. He has over 500K followers on social media and exposing consumers to dairy though Butler’s social media channels will allow us to continue to tell dairy’s story to a diverse audience who shares his love for food, football and family.


April all milk price reaches $18.80

USDA reported that the Wisconsin all milk price for April 2021 at $18.80 per cwt. The price reflects an increase of $1.30 from last month and a hefty $4.50 more than April 2020. 

The national all milk price for April was $18.40 per cwt, an increase of $1.00 over last month's price, and 40 cents below Wisconsin's price. Of the 24 major milk producing states, South Dakota had the largest gain in price, up $1.50 to $20.70 per cwt. 


Forage Councils to hold Twilight mtg. on June 16

The Dodge County Forage Council will host its Summer Twilight meeting at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, at Gault Valley Farms, LLC., Neosho.

The third generation dairy farm crops 650 acres of corn, soybeans, alfalfa, and wheat, which is used to feed the herd of 315 Holstein cows and 250 young stock. They currently milk 275 cows in 5 Lely robots which were installed in 2019.

Rye and triticale are double cropped for additional forage. They began no-tilling in 2006, and experimenting with cover crops in 2011. In addition, they run a custom forage and grain harvesting enterprise in cooperation with neighboring farms. 

Keynote speaker Chad Staudinger of Dairyland Seed Company will focus on ‘Alfalfa A to Z’ during the 7:15 p.m. program. There will be informal farm tours and soil pit starting at 6:15 pm.

The program is open to all interested producers and Forage Council Members. For more information or to register contact the Extension Dodge County office at (920) 386-3790.


Nunes begins 2nd term as Alice in Dairyland

Julia Nunes of Chippewa Falls has begun her term as the 74th Alice in Dairyland, making her the first Alice to serve two consecutive terms in the program’s history. Nunes began serving as the 73rd Alice on July 6, 2020. Her term as the 74th Alice will end on July 15, 2022.

In her first year as Alice, Nunes wrote more than 100 articles, completed over 232 TV and radio interviews, and engaged with thousands of people on social media across 1,140 posts. Amid significant challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked to continue educating Wisconsinites about agriculture by hosting live events on Facebook and Zoom that featured Wisconsin farms and agricultural products.

Applications for the 75th Alice in Dairyland will be made available on Jan. 5, 2022. The 75th Alice in Dairyland finals will take place May 19-21, 2022. After being selected at the conclusion of the finals, the 75th Alice in Dairyland will begin her term on July 5, 2022.


DNR submits Central Sands Lakes study findings

The Wisconsin DNR has submitted the final Central Sands Lakes Study Report and recommendations to the Wisconsin Legislature advising a management framework to address impacted water resources across the Central Sands Region.

Over the past three years, the DNR and partners have evaluated and modeled the impacts of groundwater withdrawals from high-capacity wells from Pleasant, Long and Plainfield Lakes in Waushara County, as required by state law.

The $887,000 multidisciplinary Central Sands Lakes Study involved the collaboration of over 30 state and federal scientists and policy experts.

The DNR recommends the Legislature consider forming a management framework across the entire Central Sands region to encourage and assist landowners in finding collaborative solutions to water-quantity issues.


Culver’s Scoops of Thanks Day raises $159,480

Culver’s 2021 Scoops of Thanks Day raised a record-breaking $159,480, far exceeding last year’s total of $144,975!

The daylong fundraiser took place on Thursday, May 6, across nearly 800 Culver’s restaurants. Culver’s guests were able to order a scoop of Fresh Frozen Custard for $1, and the proceeds were donated to an FFA chapter or other local agricultural organization in each restaurant’s area.

This year’s Scoops of Thanks Day fundraiser featured a special Flavor of the Day, Mooey Gooey Twist. The flavor’s name paid homage to the dairy farmers — and their cows — who make serving Fresh Frozen Custard possible.

Scoops of Thanks Day began as an annual fundraiser in 2015 and has since raised a total of more than $650,000, according to a press release. The special day is part of Culver’s Thank You Farmers Project, which works to support agricultural education programs that teach smart farming.


USDA forecasts record farm exports in FY 2021

The USDA's quarterly agricultural trade forecast projects fiscal year 2021 U.S. farm exports at $164 billion – the highest total on record. This represents an increase of $28 billion, or 21 percent, from last fiscal year’s total, and a $7-billion increase from USDA’s previous FY 2021 forecast published in February. The annual export record of $152.3 billion was set in FY 2014.

Key drivers of the surge in exports include a record outlook for China, record export volumes and values for a number of key products, sharply higher commodity prices, and reduced foreign competition.

China is poised to be back on top as the United States’ number one customer, with U.S. exports forecast at $35 billion, eclipsing the previous record of $29.6 billion set in FY 2014. This growth is led by Chinese demand for soybeans and corn. Other top markets, in order, are Canada, Mexico, Japan, the European Union, and South Korea, with demand remaining strong across the board.

USDA projects that total exports of bulk commodities and meat will reach record levels for both volume and value in FY 2021.


New Airly brand launches first-ever climate friendly snack 

New company Airly Foods launched Airly™ Oat Clouds™, snack crackers made with oats and grains, touted as the first-ever climate friendly snack developed to remove greenhouse gases from the air.

According to a report by PR Newswire, the company claims each box sold removes between 18g – 21g of CO2 from the air, thanks to accessing its ingredients from zero CO2 emission farms. Airly also purchases carbon credits to offset any footprint from its minimally processed production and transportation system.


Truck rates soar and no immediate relief expected

Produce truck rates are up 70% or more compared with a year ago, and industry sources don’t think relief is coming anytime soon, Farm Journal's The Packer reported.

In the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fruit and Vegetable Truck Rate Report for May 4, truck shortages were noted in Nogales, Ariz.; all districts in California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and central Washington.

According to a USDA report, refrigerated produce truck rates traveling between southern California to Chicago range between $7,500 to $8,600, compared with $3,800 to $4,700 a year ago.

Walt Dasher, chief operating officer of Glennville, Ga.-based G&R Farms, a year-round grower, packer and shipper of sweet onions thinks this challenge stems from several COVID-19 pandemic effects: government economic stimulus programs influencing employees to stay home, struggling owner-operators retiring or taking buyouts, and higher retail demand overall.


Tennessee may have received infested boxwoods

The Tennessee Dept. of Agriculture is warning residents that the state may have received boxwood plants infested with the box tree moth during the past year.

If left unchecked, the moth can defoliate and potentially kill boxwood plants. The department said it was notified last week that boxwoods shipped to a Memphis distribution center from Ontario, Canada, between August and April may have been infested with the moths.

Traps were placed in West Tennessee and other high-risk areas after the moth was detected in Canada last year, the Associated Press reported. No box tree moths have been detected since then.