Ag Briefs: Farm sells for a record $19,000 an acre

Wisconsin State Farmer
National briefs

MADISON, WI

Two-thirds of farmers own computers

Newly released survey data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that, nationwide, two-thirds of farmers use or own a computer. 

The same study found that 82 percent of farms have internet access of some kind, and farmers are increasingly conducting business online. 

Since 2019, the portion of farmers using the internet to purchase agricultural inputs like seed, fertilizer and other supplies increased by 5%. 

In Wisconsin, nearly 65 percent of all farmers use a computer with about half of state producers using the technology for farm business.

Smart phones connect about 62 percent of Wisconsin farmers to the internet, according to the study. The survey notes that more and more farmers are finding access to the web via fiber optics and satellite internet.

WEST ALLIS, WI

Wisconsin State Fair by numbers...

More than 8,000 animals were entered in competitions this year, and over 7,000 Competitive Exhibit entries were judged. Over 2,500 exhibitors participated in Fair competitions, including livestock shows, horticulture, textiles, crafts, culinary, cheese, meat, wine, and others.

In the Wisconsin Products Pavilion, the Real Wisconsin Cheese Grill sold over 47,000 grilled cheese sandwiches and the Wisconsin Potato Growers served up more than 26,000 baked potatoes.

The record-breaking Governor’s Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction raised $303,800, the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Meat Products Auction raised nearly $109,000, and the Blue Ribbon Dairy Products Auction raised over $54,000. A significant portion of the nearly half of a million dollars raised at these auctions benefit Wisconsin’s youth agriculture programs and provide scholarships.

Fairgoers dug in and enjoyed nearly 300,000 Original Cream Puffs.

MADISON, WI

Emergency haying, grazing options available

Agricultural producers impacted by drought can now request haying and grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres in certain Wisconsin counties, while still receiving their full rental payment for the land.  

While CRP makes annual rental payments for land in conservation, under certain circumstances, FSA can allow the haying and grazing of these lands to mitigate the impacts of natural disasters without a reduction in payments.

Outside of the primary nesting season (which ended Aug. 1) emergency haying and grazing of CRP acres may be authorized to provide relief to livestock producers in areas affected by a severe drought or similar natural disaster. 

Twenty-two counties in Wisconsin are designated as level “D2 Drought - Severe” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Those counties include: Burnett, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Jefferson, Kenosha, Lafayette, LaCrosse, Milwaukee, Monroe, Ozaukee, Pierce, Polk, Racine, Richland, Rock, St. Croix, Vernon, Washington and Waukesha.

Producers interested in emergency haying or grazing of CRP acres must notify their FSA county office before starting any activities. Hay may be cut once in eligible counties each program year (Oct. 1-Sept. 30). Haying must be concluded prior to August 31 according to an approved conservation plan to allow time for regrowth prior to winter conditions and must be removed within 15 calendar days of being baled.

DES MOINES, IA

IA farm sells for a record $19,000 an acre

An Iowa firm that provides commercial and agricultural real estate appraisals, appraisal reviews, market and feasibility studies, says the state's corn crop will play a major part in the price buyers pay for Iowa land this year—calling the land market that hottest they've seen in 40 years.

“The market has been intensely aggressive,” says Jim Rothermich, of Iowa Appraisal and Research told Farm Journal that the market has been intensely aggressive.

“After the first of the year, the market just exploded. My auction sale data indicates the markets been up 25% from January 1 to June 30,” he told the news outlet.

Recent sales have even produced eye-popping prices. One recent sale raked in $19,000 an acre in northwest Iowa. Rothermich says details on that exact sale aren’t publicly available yet.

But there are other sales also cashing in at $18,500 in Marion County, for instance. In one week’s time, farmland sold just in that county included 17 above the state average price right now.

MADISON, WI

Main, Vail named 2021 McKown Master Breeders

World Dairy Expo announced that Ken Main and Peter Vail, along with their Cutting Edge prefix, have been selected as the twelfth recipients of the Robert “Whitey” McKown Master Breeder Award.

This award honors exemplary breeders and herds that have been successful at showing and judging dairy cattle. The winners embody all of the qualities associated with the Klussendorf Award, including character, ability, endeavor, and sportsmanship.

Main and Vail have provided solid genetics for profitable production through their dedicated breeding program and top maternal lines to herds throughout the Brown Swiss breed.

The duo earned six Grand Champion titles at World Dairy Expo in addition to the 2018 and 2019 Supreme Champion banners with Cutting Edge T Delilah 2E-95. They were also named Premier Exhibitor of the International Brown Swiss Show for 13 consecutive years and Premier Breeder annually since 2016. They have had an All-American winner every year since 2003.

WASHINGTON D.C.

Loans at all-time high in 2020 for young, beginning and small farmers

Loans from the Farm Credit lenders to young, beginning and small farmers hit an all-time high in 2020 despite challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

President and CEO Todd Van Hoose told Brownfield Ag News that nearly 220,000 loans were given worth almost $59 billion with many farmers taking advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program.

He says the increase is driven partly by low interest rates but the data could signal more young farmers returning to the farm but also an increase in costs. 

MILWAUKEE, WI

Construction to begin on new ag export terminal in the Port of Milwaukee

In a few weeks, construction will begin on the busted and abandoned buildings located in the Port of Milwaukee to make way for the new agricultural export terminal.

The $35 million dollar project is designed to handle various products from Wisconsin/Midwest farmers like dried distillers goods, corn, soybeans and grain, WTMJ reported.

“With this $35 million dollar facility, the Port’s commercial utilization will increase on an annual basis between 3 and potentially 5 hundred metric tons per year,” said Port Milwaukee director Adam Tindall-Schlicht.

The redevelopment is the largest in the Port’s history.

BELLE PLAINE, KS

Appeals court blocks enforcement of Kansas' 'ag-gag' law

A federal appeals court has blocked enforcement of provisions in a Kansas law that ban the secret filming at slaughterhouses and other livestock facilities, finding that the statute seeks to stifle speech critical of animal agriculture.

A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a split decision Thursday ruled that even if deception is used to enter private property, Kansas may not discriminate based on whether the person intends to harm or help the enterprise.

Kansas' "ag-gag" law, enacted in 1990, made it a crime for anyone to take a picture or video at animal facilities without the owner's consent or to enter them under false pretenses.

BLAINE, WA

Asian giant hornet nest found in Washington state

 Authorities say they've found the first Asian giant hornet nest of 2021 in a rural area east of Blaine, Washington, about a quarter-mile from where a resident reported seeing one of the hornets earlier this month.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture says it narrowed the search area on Tuesday and located the nest Thursday morning.

KOMO reports crews found the nest after they followed a hornet that was equipped with a tracking device. Crews were able to net and tag three hornets between Aug. 11 – Aug. 17. State entomologists will now develop a plan to eradicate the nest, most likely next week.

DENVER, CO

Safeway faces fines after worker loses 4 fingers

Safeway faces $339,000 in fines following a workplace accident at a milk packaging plant in Denver in which an employee lost four fingers.

The Denver Post reports that the U.S. Department of Labor notified the grocer this week that they have until Sept. 13 to address workplace safety violations and pay the fines, request a conference with officials or contest the investigation's findings before an independent review commission.

During the workplace accident, which occurred on Feb. 12, an employee was adjusting a molding machine when it automatically cycled and "amputated all four of her fingers on one hand."

While investigating the incident, representatives from OSHA found seven violations of workplace safety rules — including failing to implement safety procedures that would prevent machines from operating unintentionally and failing to provide safety guards around machines.

WASHINGTON D.C.

USDA invests $26 million in biofuel infrastructure

Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $26 million to build infrastructure to expand the availability of higher-blend renewable biofuels by 822 million gallons annually in 23 states.

USDA is making the awards under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program. The funding will help significantly increase the use of biofuels derived from U.S. agricultural products and prioritize climate-smart solutions that will help rural America build back better, according to the USDA.

Today’s announcement includes investments in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas and Wisconsin.

WASHINGTON D.C.

China headed for record purchases of U.S. ag exports

Exporters sold $15.2 billion worth of American farm products to China in the first six months of 2021, raising the possibility of record sales this year, wrote economist David Widmar on the Agricultural Economic Insights blog.

Sales are on pace to hit $33.7 billion, with some of the most active months for sales — during and after the fall harvest — still to come, according to the Food & Environment Reporting Network.

Widmar said trade has been an area of stability amid rising tensions between the U.S. and China on myriad other issues. However, China’s purchasing targets expire at the end of the year, and the Biden administration hasn’t indicated what its next steps on China trade will be.

This week the USDA is scheduled to update its forecast of record ag exports of $35 billion to China this fiscal year. The current mark is $25.7 billion during fiscal 2014. 

OMAHA, NE

CLAAS says shortages, delays to run through 2023

The leader of a global manufacturer for agriculture equipment says supply chain shortages and delays will likely spill over into 2022.  

Leif Magnusson, senior vice president of the Americas with CLAAS, told Brownfield Ag News that suppliers have alerted purchasers that shortages and delays could last into 2022, along with surcharges and rising costs. Supply shortages range from tires to electronic chips.

Magnusson says the company is also seeing big delays at the ports and at railway centers.

WASHINGTON D.C.

USDA Accepts 2.8M Acres for the CRP

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has accepted 2.8 million acres in offers from agricultural producers and private landowners for enrollment into the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in 2021.

This year, almost 1.9 million acres in offers have been accepted through the General CRP Signup, and USDA’s Farm Service Agency has accepted over 897,000 acres for enrollment through the Continuous Signup, according to the USDA. 

The Continuous Signup remains open and CRP Grasslands Signup closed last week, so USDA expects to enroll more acres into all of CRP than the 3 million acres that are expiring.

WASHINGTON D.C.

USDA announces intent to purchase $400M in ag commodities

The USDA announced plans to purchase approximately $400M in produce, beef, pork, poultry, fish, and dairy products for distribution to outlets within The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).  

Purchases will be made under the authority of the CARES Act, with the purpose of supporting the emergency food network so states, food banks and local organizations can reliably serve their communities.

Offers may be solicited as frozen vegetables, fresh potatoes, cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss and processed cheese, fluid and instant milk, canned pork and chicken, frozen pork loin roast or whole eggs.