Ag Briefs: Ginseng farmer wins over $1M in fantasy football game

Wisconsin State Farmer
Midwest briefs

MADISON, WI

Ag Day at the Capitol set for Jan. 26

Register now to attend Ag Day at the Capitol on Jan. 26 at the Monona Terrace in Madison. This event is the largest gathering of farmers from across the state representing a variety of farm groups to learn more about issues impacting Wisconsin agriculture and meet with their state legislators.

“As members of the agricultural community, we need to make time to engage with legislators and decision-makers across the state and this event is the perfect way to do so,”said WFBF President Kevin Krentz.

Registration will begin at 11 a.m. with the program starting at 11:30 a.m. Lunch will be served followed by issue briefings and time for attendees to visit their legislators in the Capitol. It is important that attendees call the offices of their legislators in advance to schedule an appointment between 3 and 5 p.m. for Wed., January 26.

Register for Ag Day at the Capitol by visiting https://bit.ly/2022AgDayRegistration. The cost is $30 per person before Jan. 19. Registrations on or after Jan. 20 and at-the-door attendees will cost $60.

WAUSAU, WI

Ginseng grower wins more than $1M in fantasy football game

No Packers fan would ever call the Dec. 19 game against the Ravens in Baltimore perfect.

Except one. His name is Will Hsu. He's a ginseng farmer and business owner from Wausau. Hsu won over $1.1 million in the online fantasy football game hosted by the website Draft Kings, and that game helped put him over the top of more than 180,000 other entries, the Wausau Daily Herald reported.

Hsu says he wants to make sure the $1.1 million won't dramatically change his life. But it makes it nice. He's donating about a quarter of the money to charity, including to the University of Wisconsin, the Wausau church his family attends and the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin.

MADISON, WI

All-milk price for Nov. peaks at $20.30/cwt

The Wisconsin all milk price for November 2021 was $20.30/cwt according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service - Agricultural Prices report. This was 70 cents above last month's price but $2.50 below last November's price.

The U.S. all milk price for November was $20.80 per cwt, 50 cents higher than Wisconsin's price and $1.10 higher than last month's U.S. price.

All the 24 major milk producing states had a higher price when compared with October. Texas and Virginia had the largest price increases. Both were up $1.70 per cwt from last month. 

SUSSEX, WI

Corn growers to sit on NCGA action teams

The National Corn Growers Association announced the slate of new and returning farmer leaders who will serve as members of its action teams and committees, which began on Jan. 1, 2022.

These volunteer farmers will actively shape the future of their industry by guiding programs and carrying out the policies and priorities that drive the association.

Wisconsin Corn will be represented by the following individuals: Mike Berget, Darlington

Sustainable Ag Research Action Team and Tom Gillis, River Falls Ethanol Action Team.

MADISON, WI

Price for corn and beans remain strong

The average price received by farmers for corn during November 2021 in Wisconsin was $5.06 per bushel according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service - Agricultural Prices report. This was 27 cents above the October price and $1.49 above November 2020.

The November 2021 average price received by farmers for soybeans, at $12.10 per bushel, was 30 cents above the October price and $1.70 above the November 2020 price.

The November average oat price per bushel, at $4.25, was 21 cents above October and $1.88 above November 2020. All hay prices in Wisconsin averaged $168.00 per ton in November. This was $21.00 above the October price but $18.00 below the November 2020 price.

The November 2021 alfalfa hay price, at $181.00, was $17.00 above the previous month but $15.00 below November 2020. The average price received for other hay during November was $119.00 per ton. This was $9.00 above the October price but $28.00 below November last year.

MEDFORD, WI

Beef cow calf workshop set for February 2022

UW-Madison Division of Extension will host its Beef Cow Calf Workshop at three locations and virtually in February 2022. The workshop focuses on selection and development of replacement heifers, management and care of calving heifers, and secure beef supply planning.

One Wisconsin BQA Continuing Education Credit is provided for those currently BQA certified in Wisconsin from attending this workshop.

Pre-registration is required by calling the location you wish to attend; walk-ins are not allowed. 

Feb. 16: in-person, 7-9 p.m. Beezer’s Bar and Grill Conference Room, 1235 Water Ave, Hillsboro, WI.  RSVP at 608-637-5276 by Feb. 11. Feb. 17: in-person, 6.30 – 9 pm Abbotsford City Hall, 203 N. First St., Abbotsford. RSVP at 715-748-3327 ext. 3

Attendees may also join online on Feb. 17. To register for the link to join over ZOOM search ‘beef’ at https://livestock.extension.wisc.edu/events/

Feb. 24: in-person, 6.30 – 9 pm. Crawford County Admin. Blg, Rm 236, 225 N Beaumont Rd. Prairie du Chien. RSVP at 608-326-0223.

MADISON, WI

DATCP meat processor grant applications due Jan. 14

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trad​e and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is reminding Wisconsin meat processors that applications for new meat processor grants are due at 5 p.m. Jan. 14, 2022. to Ryan Dunn at ryand.dunn@wisconsin.gov.

The meat processing grant program aims to grow Wisconsin's meat industry and improve the long-term viability of the state's livestock industry. DATCP will award grants for up to $50,000 for projects that are up to two years in duration and help expand capacity or increase throughput. Processors are required to provide a match of 100% of the grant amount.

Informational materials and grant applications are available at at https://bit.ly/3BjGxQA

CLARK CO., IN

Indiana FB hosting program on solar leases

A Farm Bureau chapter in Indiana will hold an informational meeting this month for landowners who are considering leasing property to solar developers as more projects are propose, News and Tribune reported.

Recently several solar energy companies have sent letters to landowners in Clark, Floyd, Jefferson and Scott Counties offering some pretty sizable annual rent payments in exchange for the opportunity to place solar collector devices on that property. As with any lease arrangement, landowners need to be aware of the terms and conditions of these leases and the ramifications that may be of concern to landowners.

With that in mind, Clark County Farm Bureau, Inc. is working with the Indiana Ag Law Foundation to present this program for landowners to better prepare them as they determine if one of these leases will benefit them and their heirs.

DENVER, CO

Potatoes on 82.9% of restaurant menus

Potatoes have a solid presence on 82.9% of restaurant menus in the U.S., and Datassential predicts them to grow another 1.6% in the next four years.

Fast-casual restaurants are projected to experience the most growth of potatoes, 5%, over the next four years, followed by midscale restaurants, according to Potatoes USA.

The top five potato dishes on menus are fries, mashed potatoes, potato salad, hash browns, and baked potatoes. The top five trending potato dishes include tater drums, breakfast potatoes, curly fries, waffle fries, and loaded fries, all showing the strongest growth rates.

SUPERIOR, WI

Great Lakes ports see shipping rebound in 2021

Great Lakes ports are reporting a rebound in cargo shipments this year after the region’s largest port witnessed historic lows during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

The Port of Duluth-Superior bounced back this year after cargo shipments dropped to their lowest level in 2020 since 1938 with a total of 25.8 million tons moving through the lakes’ largest port. As of the end of November, the port had handled around 29 million tons of cargo, marking a 30 percent increase from the same time last year.

The port has already surpassed 30 million tons for the year as the shipping season is set to wrap up on Jan. 15 with the closure of the Poe Lock at the eastern end of Lake Superior, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.

The Port of Green Bay reported that cargo shipments were up 9 percent from the same time last year through November, handling a total of roughly 1.8 million tons. Last year, the port moved around 1.9 million tons — down more than 15 percent from 2019. 

Port Milwaukee declined to comment on the 2021 shipping season as port officials await final numbers.

MILWAUKEE, WI

World Beef Expo encouraging youth to be a part of sweepstakes

World Beef Expo is inviting youth interested in the beef industry to be part of the 2022 World Beef Expo Sweepstakes Contest. Open to all youth between the ages of 8-12, contest areas will test a youth's knowledge of nutrition, animal health, external anatomy and equipment. It also includes the option to participate in essay, graphic design, livestock judging, skill-a-thon and photo contests, Wisconsin Ag Connection reported.

The event will be held on Sept. 22-25 at Wisconsin State Fair Park in Milwaukee.

Four age categories are offered including beginner (ages 8-11); Junior (ages 12-15); Intermediate (ages 16-18); and Senior (ages 19-21).

Prizes will be given to the top five overall youth in each age division and additional prizes will be awarded for each of the individual contests in each age division.

For more information, call the World Beef Expo office at 920-675-1181 or go to: www.worldbeefexpo.com/sweepstakes

MADISON, WI

Badger Dairy Insight virtual series returns 

Join the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension’s Dairy Program bi-weekly on Tuesdays from 1 to 2:30 pm CST for the Badger Dairy Insight webinar series. There is no charge to participate in the sessions, but pre-registration is required to allow access to the session. 

Providing the latest research and updates related to animal welfare, nutrition, data management, heifer management, and reproduction, the Badger Dairy Insight will help you improve production, profitability, and efficiency while maintaining animal well-being.

Six webinars are set starting January 11, then offered every other Tuesday at 1 pm. 

Join the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension’s Dairy Program bi-weekly on Tuesdays from 1 to 2:30 pm CST for the Badger Dairy Insight webinar series. There is no charge to participate in the sessions, but pre-registration is required to allow access to the session. 

Providing the latest research and updates related to animal welfare, nutrition, data management, heifer management, and reproduction, the Badger Dairy Insight will help you improve production, profitability, and efficiency while maintaining animal well-being.

Six webinars are set starting January 11, then offered every other Tuesday at 1 pm.  Visit https://extension.wisc.edu/agriculture/farm-ready-research/ to register.

WASHINGTON D.C.

Port backlog improving, still big issue

The U.S. Transportation Secretary says port logistics are improving but more needs to be done.

Pete Buttigieg told Brownfield Ag News that ag exports and others have been slowed down because of port issues, like a backlog of empty containers and “long-dwelling” containers that have sat for extended periods of time.

Using the threat of fines, Buttigieg says officials have seen in some of the ports 50-60 percent reductions in the rate of those containers sitting there. However, he says ports are still being underused, risking export demand loss for ag goods.

Buttigieg says he is working with Ag Secretary Vilsack, who co-chairs the supply chain task force to find new ways to clear out some of the backlogs.

BANGKOK, Thailand

Asia looks to China-focused trade bloc for virus recovery

Members of a China-centered Asian trade bloc that takes effect Jan. 1 are hoping the initiative, encompassing about a third of world trade and business activity, will help power their recoveries from the pandemic. 

Associated Press reported that the 15-member Regional and Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, includes China, Japan, South Korea and many other Asian countries. It does not include the U.S. or India. India opted out largely due to fears that Chinese imports would swamp its markets. 

The deal slashes tariffs on thousands of products, streamlining trade procedures and providing mutual advantages for member nations. But it has less stringent labor and environmental requirements than those expected of countries in the European Union or the smaller Trans-Pacific Partnership, which includes many of the same countries but not China.

JERUSALEM, Israel

Thousands of cranes killed by bird flu in northern Israel

A bird flu outbreak in northern Israel has killed at least 5,200 migratory cranes and forced farmers to slaughter hundreds of thousands of chickens as authorities try to contain what they say is the deadliest wildlife disaster in the nation's history.

Uri Naveh, a senior scientist at the Israel Parks and Nature Authority, said the situation is not yet under control. Many of the birds are dead in the middle of the water body so it's difficult for them to be taken out, he said.

Workers were removing the carcasses as quickly as possible, fearing they could infect other wildlife.

Agriculture Ministry officials say half a million chickens in the area were being slaughtered to prevent the disease from spreading.

About 500,000 cranes pass through Israel each year on the way to Africa and a small number stay behind. This year, an estimated 30,000 cranes stayed in Israel for the winter. Officials believe that the cranes were infected by smaller birds that had contact with farms suffering from outbreaks.