Ag Briefs: Animals die in Fond du Lac Co. shed fire

Wisconsin State Farmer
Wisconsin briefs


RMA extends crop insurance flexibilities to June

Because of the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the USDA is extending program flexibilities to Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs) and agricultural producers until June 30, 2022 or later. Originally, these flexibilities were expiring this month. 

Extended flexibilities allows for: notifications to be sent electronically; producers to submit a request for a written agreement after the sales closing date; producers with inability to physically sign a written agreement because of COVID-19 to do so after the expiration date; additional time for AIPs to accept Regional Office Determined Yield, Master Yield, and Irrigated Determined Yield requests for Category B (annual) crops; AIPs to request a 30-day extension to submit Determined Yield requests for Category C (perennial) crops and waiving the witness signature requirement for approval of Assignments of Indemnity.    

Additional details can be found in RMA’s Jan. 20, 2022 Manager’s Bulletin, the frequently asked questions or


Hodag Solar Park is now complete

Homes and businesses in the Northwoods may now be using green energy. The Hodag Solar Farm will create 7.5 megawatts impacting over 2,000 homes and businesses.

Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) purchased the solar farm from OneEnergy renewables, WAOW reported.

WPS and their parent company WEC Energy Group plan to make its electric generation fleet net carbon neutral by 2050. This is the third solar energy project in the state since 2020.


Eight animals die in a shed fire

Two goats and six ducks died in a shed fire early Tuesday morning in the town of Fond du Lac.

A passerby noticed flames coming from a shed at N5221 County V and called authorities about 2:25 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office. By the time deputies arrived, the shed was consumed by the flames."

The town of Fond du Lac firefighters arrived and prevented the fire from spreading to any other buildings, according to the Sheriff's Office. All eight animals inside the shed died in the blaze.

Authorities believe the cause of the fire was electrical because there were heated water dishes and a heat lamp inside the shed, according to the Sheriff's Office.


All milk price hits $21.60 for December

The Wisconsin all milk price for December 2021 was $21.60 per hundredweight (cwt) according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service - Agricultural Prices report. This was $1.30 above last month's price and $3.50 above last December's price.

The U.S. all milk price for December was $21.80 per cwt, 20 cents above Wisconsin's price and $1.00 above last month's U.S. price. All the 24 major milk producing states had a higher price when compared with November. Indiana had the largest price increase, up $1.60 per cwt from November.

The average price received by farmers for corn during December 2021 in Wisconsin was $5.33 per bushel. This was 27 cents above the November price and $1.53 above December 2020. The December 2021 average price received by farmers for soybeans, at $12.40 per bushel, was 30 cents above the November price and $1.30 above the December 2020 price. The December average oat price per bushel, at $5.15, was 90 cents above November and $2.37 above December 2020. 


Compeer awards $76K in Farmers Market Grants

Compeer Financial’s Fund for Rural America, the Farm Credit cooperative’s giving program, has awarded Farmers Market Grants, totaling $88,429. This is the fourth year Compeer Financial has offered these grants.

The grants are supporting 80 farmers market organizations, with funding up to $1,000 for marketing, technology or educational efforts including farmers markets in urban areas. Twenty-five Wisconsin markets awarded grants.


Application period open for Dairy Business Builder grants

The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA) is now accepting applications for its Dairy Business Builder Grant. Dairy farmers, entrepreneurs, and processors in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin are eligible to apply. Grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded through a competitive process.

Grant applications and more information about the program are available on the DBIA website: Applications are due March 31 at 5:00 p.m. (CT). Eligible projects will include dairy farm diversification, the creation of value-added dairy products, enhancing dairy by-products or commodities, and efforts to market dairy products for export.

In 2020, $230,000 was distributed to 13 dairy companies and cooperatives in the inaugural round of Dairy Business Builder Grants and more than $1M was awarded to 25 dairy companies and cooperatives last year.


No DMC payment for December milk

A record of more than $1.1 billion was paid out in Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) payments for January through November 2021.

However, the USDA’s Ag Prices reported that there will be no DMC payments for December milk. The Income Over Feed Costs calculated to be $9.53/cwt., $0.03 above the maximum coverage level of $9.50, reported.

For the year, each 1 million pounds of milk insured at the $9.50 level received $23,398.40 after sequestration. 

Producers have until February 18, 2022, to enroll in DMC for 2022 production. 


Agronomy Day is back after a 1-year break

Mark your calendars and plan to attend the 2022 Agronomy Day on Feb.​ 17, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Five Pillars Restaurant, Random Lake.

The event will address topics such as weed management planning for 2022; What's new in ag-products and services; soybean production and management; Knowing where to spend your fertilizer dollar; market outlook for 2023.

Cost is $5 per person and may be paid at the door. To register visit or email Tammy Zorn at or call 920-459-5904. Reservation are due by Monday, Feb. 14.


CentralStar hails dairy herds for repro efficiency

Five of the six herds recognized by CentralStar Cooperative for reproductive efficiency hailed from Wisconsin. Wisconsin dairies with 12-month pregnancy rates of 32% were recipients of the ReproStar Award.

Marshland Acres, Durand; Zahn Farms, Gillett; Elsinger Dairy, Lomira; 3-D Dairy, Malone and Wepner Farms, Manawa.

Now in its third year, the ReproStar Award recognizes producers for their accomplishments with reproductive efficiency. A panel of judges evaluates each dairy's data for multiple factors known to influence pregnancy rates when selecting the winners.


U.S. cattle inventory down 2 percent

There were 91.9 million head of cattle and calves on U.S. farms as of Jan. 1, 2022, according to the Cattle report published today by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Other key findings in the report were: Of the 91.9M head inventory, all cows and heifers that have calved totaled 39.5M;There are 30.1M beef cows in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2022, down 2% from last year; The number of milk cows in the U.S.decreased to 9.38 million; U.S. calf crop was estimated at 35.1M, down 1% from 2020; All cattle on feed were at 14.7M head, up slightly from 2021.


Students invited to attend World Food Prize WI Youth Institute

The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the UW–Madison is hosting the eighth annual World Food Prize Wisconsin Youth Institute, which will be held virtually on Mon., April 11, 2022.

This program gives Wisconsin high school students in grades 9-12 an opportunity to engage virtually with leading researchers, industry experts and fellow students on the topic of world hunger and poverty. To participate in the Wisconsin Youth Institute, students must submit a paper about a global food security issue that they research and write under the supervision of a teacher/mentor.

During the event, students present their research and recommendations on ways to solve key global challenges in short speeches and small group discussions with experts. 

Top students will be invited to attend the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute held in conjunction with the World Food Prize International Symposium in October. Participating students are eligible for internships and fellowships.

The deadline to submit papers is March 25. There is no cost to participate. For more information visit or email Lauryn Christianson at or 608-890-3124.


PPF to hold its annual meeting

Farmer-led conservation group Peninsula Pride Farms will hold its annual meeting from 10 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Feb. 15 at Kewaunee County Fairgrounds Expo Hall, 625 3rd St., Luxemburg. This meeting will focus on future needs in ag conservation as well as generational challenges.

Attendees will explore these topics through presentations by: Jamie Patton, senior outreach specialist for the Nutrient and Pest Management Program at the University of Wisconsin Madison-Extension, will explore the recent regional and national research pertaining to cover crops, grazing, and carbon storage and how this research can help us improve soil health in northeast Wisconsin.

Ricardo Costa, agricultural strategy manager for The Nature Conservancy (TNC), will present the findings from PPF’s 2021 member conservation practice survey results. Brad Gingras, owner of Superior Strategies and executive director of Northwest Wisconsin AHEC, will share how evolution in communication and leadership styles have impacted how individuals are engaged and motivated to do good work — or even show up.


Berries see tighter supplies, higher prices

Supplies of berries out of Mexico are tighter right now and will be for the near future. reported that raspberry supplies have tightened up, pushing prices 20% higher in 2022 than in 2021. Blackberry volume is also winding down in Mexico and will continue to stay that way during February and March. Blackberry pricing is also headed upwards. 

Of the three berries, blueberries are picking up in supplies out of Mexico and elsewhere including Chile. However, Chile has 10-15% less production compared to last year and they’ve also been shipping less product to the U.S.

Logistics challenges–both out of Chile and at ports in the U.S.--weather and a lack of labor in Chile are also factoring into blueberry shipments, resulting in an impact on the availability to send it to the fresh market.


House Oversight looking into meat companies' pricing, profits

The House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy chairman is seeking information from Tyson Foods, JBS, National Beef and Seaboard Foods on the reasons for the recent price increases for meat, National Hog Farmer reported.

Subcommittee chairman Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) in a letter to each of the companies said, "While some companies may claim that the high prices feeding these outsized profits are explained by higher input costs, earnings data tells a different story.

The letter is asking for company documents, including research, analyses, policies, and internal and external communications related to prices that companies charge for meat products.