Ag Briefs: State's estimated corn planted acres down 4%, soybeans up 4%

Wisconsin State Farmer
Midwest briefs


State's estimated corn planted acres down 4%, soybeans up 4%

Wisconsin farmers intend to plant 3.70 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2022 according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Prospective Plantings report. This is down 300,000 acres from 2021. 

Producers intend to plant 2.30 million acres of soybeans in Wisconsin this year. This is 200,000 acres higher than 2021. If realized, this would be a record high for the State, surpassing the 2.22 million acres planted in 2018. 

Farmers in Wisconsin expect to harvest 1.30 million acres of all dry hay for the 2022 crop year. This is 70,000 acres above last year. 

Wisconsin farmers intend to plant 155,000 acres of oats for all purposes. This is down 20,000 acres from last year. Winter wheat producers intend to plant 280,000 acres, down 10,000 acres from last year. 


Meet Your Local Farmer event set

The public is invited to visit eet Calumet County farmers during the annual ‘Meet Your Local Farmer’ event Sat., April 23.

Calumet County Farm Bureau is partnering with local farmers to host four self-paced open houses throughout the day. The event begins at 10:00 a.m. and runs through 3:00 p.m.

The following businesses welcoming the public include:

Kesler Family Farm, N6447 Hwy 55, Hilbert - a multi-generational and multi-species family operation, Kesler Family Farm specializes in beef cattle, hogs, and chickens. Their gardens are known for delicious produce including rhubarb and asparagus. The Kesler family will have a petting zoo and can answer questions about how they raise their livestock and grow crops.

LaClare Family Creamery,W2994 Cty Rd. HH, Pipe - LaClare Family Creamery is a goat farm, shoppe/cafe, garden center, and creamery that features goat and cow milk cheeses made on-site. Tour the visitor’s center and learn how their award-winning cheeses are made.

Lake Breeze Dairy, W2651 Kiel Rd, Malone - Established in 2003, Lake Breeze Dairy was started by five Wisconsin farming families. 3,200 cows call Lake Breeze Dairy home. The cows are milked in a double-44 parallel parlor and there are 35 employees dedicated to caring for the cows on the farm. Stop in to take a bus tour and learn more about their modern dairy farm.

Ledgeview Farms, W3351 Schumacher Rd, Malone - Established in 2008, Ledgeview Farms is a hydroponic greenhouse that produces tomatoes and English cucumbers. The greenhouse, operated by the Deborah and Leonard Opsteen family, is filled with over 2,800 10-foot-high tomato and cucumber plants.


Cyclospora found in Ocean Mist Farms romaine hearts

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is alerting consumers to avoid eating a specific lot of Ocean Mist Farms brand romaine hearts sold at several stores throughout Wisconsin.

The Minnesota Dept.of Agriculture laboratory found Cyclospora in the product during routine surveillance. During its investigation, it was determined some of the affected product was delivered to retail food establishments in Wisconsin. The affected product includes: Ocean Mist Farms romaine hearts lettuce, 22 oz. packages, coding “22RHDM2L” with a harvest date of “MAR10.” The product was grown in Coachella, Calif.

The product was sold at the following Wisconsin stores: Dick’s Fresh Market – Amery, Osceola, River Falls, Somerset; MarketPlace – St. Croix Falls; Nilssen’s Foods – Baldwin, Cumberland, Ellsworth, Glenwood City; Super One Harbor View – Superior; and Wayne’s Foods Plus – Danbury, Webster.

No illnesses have been reported as a result of consuming this product. 


Vilsack rejects requests to open up CRP acreage

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has written the president and CEO of the National Grain and Feed Association saying he shares concerns about the Ukraine war and impact on grain production and exports, but USDA sees only potentially "marginal" potential benefits from suggestions to opening up the Conservation Reserve Program for planting crops this year.

NGFA led a letter to Vilsack on March 23 from the American Bakers Association, Agricultural Retailers Association, National Oilseed Processors Association, North American Millers' Association, and the North American Export Grain Association as well as the American Farm Bureau, DTN/Progressive Farmer reported.

In the letter the groups asked USDA to provide flexibility to producers to plant crops on prime farmland as well as the least environmentally sensitive acres currently in the program without penalty, whether on an emergency basis or through an early-out of their current CRP contracts.


Evers vetoes bill setting up hunts for farm-raised bovids

Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a bill Thursday, March 31, 2022, that would have allowed hunting ranches to raise bovids. That's a term for cloven-hoofed mammals, including bison, buffalo, sheep, goats and antelopes.

Republicans who introduced the bill argued that many such animals are already being raised on Wisconsin game farms, according to a news release.

Evers said in his veto message that he objects to the increasing the number of non-native species that can be raised and hunted in captivity. He added that he supports fair-chase hunting.


Producers asked to enroll grasslands into special CRP Signup

The USDA encourages producers and landowners to enroll in the Grassland Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) starting next week through May 13, 2022. 

Grassland CRP provides an opportunity for farmers, ranchers, and ag landowners to keep land in ag production and supplement their income while improving their soils and permanent grass cover.   

FSA provides participants with annual rental payments and cost-share assistance. The annual rental rate varies by county with a national minimum rental rate of $13 per acre for this signup. Contract duration is 10 or 15 years.

Landowners and producers interested in Grassland CRP should contact their local USDA Service Center to learn more or to apply for the program before the May 13 deadline.  Additionally, fact sheets and other resources are available at


Listening session on Farm and Industry Short Course set

The Farm and Industry Short Course program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) will host a virtual listening session to gather ideas for future educational programs on Tues., April 12, 2022 from 1–2 p.m.

The session will be co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation (WFBF), Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) and CALS. 

Doug Reinemann, associate dean for extension and outreach in CALS, and Jennifer Blazek, director of the Farm and Industry Short Course, will facilitate a conversation about educational needs within the agricultural industry.

All are welcome to join via Zoom, and no additional registration is necessary. Visit  Meeting ID is 968 9014 5809 with passcode  650060 or dial by your location  +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)


Baldwin joins bipartisan group urging Biden to prioritize fertilizer production

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in urging the Biden administration to prioritize domestic production of green fertilizer to support American agriculture, ensure price stability, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

The senators specifically called on the Biden administration to focus on domestic manufacturing of green ammonia for fertilizer as they develop Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs. Authorized by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs will boost economic growth and reduce hydrogen costs by expanding the use of clean hydrogen in the industrial sector and beyond. 

“A Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub focused on the manufacture of green ammonia for fertilizer would allow America’s farmers to drastically reduce their carbon footprint while also providing price and supply stability to this critical farm input,” the lawmakers wrote to Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. 


Boehringer Ingelheim launches swine industry’s first PCV2d-based vaccine

To stay ahead on porcine circovirus associated disease (PCVAD) management, Boehringer Ingelheim has launched the swine industry’s first porcine circovirus Type 2d-based baculovirus vector vaccine called d-FENSE.

Having first been identified in 2012, today PCV2d is the predominant genotype circulating in the U.S., accounting for more than 90% of PCV2 infections.

An extensive body of research has demonstrated that the vaccine, can provide heterologous cross-protection against PCV2d. d-FENSE, a single dose PCV2 vaccine, is specifically designed to help swine herds that are struggling with severe PCVAD presentations.


Biofuels absent in Biden energy announcement

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor suggests there was a glaring omission in President Biden’s energy plan announced Thursday, Brownfield Ag News reported.

There was speculation Biden would announce plans to make E15 available this summer, and Skor remains hopeful the administration will do that.

Skor said Press Secretary Jen Psaki said biofuels were among the menu of options on the table. However, if the administration doesn’t take action, consumers are going to lose their low-price fuel option on June 1, she said.

Currently consumers in 30 states are saving up to 50 cents per gallon by choosing E15 over E10 because of the current price spread.


Rising food prices won’t slow down

Food prices are rising and likely will continue going up throughout the year. All food prices are now predicted to increase between 4.5 and 5.5 percent, according to the USDA's 2022 Food Price Outlook report.

Data shows how much food prices have increased since last year. Comparing prices from Feb. 2021 to Feb. 2022, the agency found the cost of food at home/groceries is up 8.6%. They also found the following increases: Beef and Veal: +16.2%; Pork: +14%; Poultry: +12.5%; Fish and Seafood: +10.4%; Eggs: +11.4%; Dairy: +5.2%; Fats and Oils: +11.7%; Fresh Fruits: +10.6%; Fresh Vegetables: +4.3%; Processed Fruits and Vegetables: +7.6%; Sugars and Sweets: +7%; and Cereals and Bakery Products: +7.8%.

Wheat prices also are expected to rise significantly due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, according to USDA. Farm-level wheat prices are now predicted to increase between 20 and 23 percent and wholesale wheat flour prices are predicted to increase between 12 and 15 percent in 2022.


Chippewa Co. FTD  searches for host for 2024 show

The executive committee for the Chippewa County Farm Technology Days is searching for a host farm for the upcoming show in 2024. Those interested should contact the executive committee for a criteria sheet describing the guidelines and requirements for potential hosts, including up to 500 acres of tillable land available for Tent City, parking and field demos, according to Wisconsin Ag Connection.

The committee says neighboring farmers may wish to collaborate as a host farm. This year's 68th show will be held in Clark County at Roehl Acres and Rustic Occasions in Loyal on July 12-14. The following year, the first-ever non-county hosted show will be held at the Badger Steam and Gas Engine Club grounds near Baraboo.


Most of S.D. in a moderate to severe drought

Some South Dakota ranchers and farmers are dealing with a third straight year of drought conditions. This week's U.S. Drought Monitor map shows most of the state is in a moderate to severe drought.

Grass stockpiles are dwindling and some ranchers are expecting only half of normal grass production this year, Associated Press reported.


US approves bison grazing amid criticism

U.S. officials announced approval of a conservation group's proposal to expand bison grazing on prairies in north-central Montana as part of a vast nature reserve over objections from some ranchers and elected officials.

The decision allows the American Prairie group to graze bison on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property and to remove about 30 miles of fences so the animals can roam more freely, according to Associated Press.

The Bozeman-based group already has more than 800 bison on a mix of public and private land. Its long-term goal is to piece together a 5,000-square-mile expanse that would include the C.M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge and have thousands of bison and other wildlife.

Some cattle ranches have sold property to the group as it amasses land to create the reserve, but others have fiercely opposed the effort. The critics worry that bison will displace cattle and that their agriculture-dependent communities will be forever altered.


Senators reject trade agenda without free trade agreements

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai continued her defense of a Biden trade agenda that does not so far include traditional free trade agreements with other nations, but several senators at a hearing Thursday strenuously pushed back, arguing the U.S. is being left behind as China pushes forward with new tariff-slashing pacts.

Senators on both sides of the aisle stressed the need for the U.S. to negotiate new FTAs, include tariff reduction deals in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), or rejoin the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) at a Finance Committee hearing Thursday.

Tai stressed that the Biden administration is bringing down foreign tariffs by deals such as the one last summer that ended the U.S.-European Union dispute over aircraft subsidies and also is working to improve “economic engagement” through endeavors such as IPEF.

While the framework does not include market access provisions in the traditional sense, Tai argued it will “enhance our access to foreign markets.”

But several senators disagreed sharply. 

“I define market access as free trade agreements and I just don’t see why we cannot engage,” Crapo said. “We’ve got nations in the Indo-Pacific that are crying out for free trade negotiations so that they can strengthen their relations with us economically rather than being tied to China … I believe we need to engage on free trade negotiations in terms of market access and not define market access as some kind of framework or something else.”

Tai, stressing U.S. labor concerns that previous free trade agreements led to job losses as manufacturing companies moved plants to other countries, insisted that new ways of improving trade are needed.


Late frost ices over French vineyards, threatens fruit crops

French vintners are lighting candles to thaw their grapevines to save them from a late frost following a winter warm spell, a temperature swing that is threatening fruit crops in multiple countries.

Ice-coated vines stretched across hillsides around Chablis as the Burgundy region woke Monday to temperatures of minus 5 C (23 F). Fruit growers are worried that the frost will kill off large numbers of early buds, which appeared in March as temperatures rose above 20 C (68 F), and disrupt the whole growing season, according to Associated Press.

The frost is particularly frustrating after a similar phenomenon hit French vineyards last year, leading to some $2.4 billion in losses. Scientists later found that the damaging 2021 frost was made more likely by climate change.

The researchers concluded that the warming caused by man-made emissions had coaxed the plants into exposing their young leaves early, before a blast of Arctic cold reached Europe in April.