Ag Briefs: Farm income jumps 14% to record high

Wisconsin State Farmer
National briefs


Farm income jumps 14% to record high

High commodity prices, due in part to warfare in Ukraine, will propel U.S. net farm income to a record $160.5 billion this year, despite a steep climb in expenses, said the USDA. Farm income, a gauge of profitability, would be 14% higher than last year and twice as high as three years ago during the Sino-U.S. trade war.

According to Successful Farming, with good times in the farm sector, the value of farm assets would climb 10% this year, said the USDA in its Farm Income forecast, issued three times a year. Farm debt would climb more slowly, and the debt-to-asset ratio, a measure of financial health, would drop to 13.05%, its first decline since 2011.

Crops and livestock will generate $541.5B in cash receipts, up 24%, or nearly $106B, from last year. Almost all of the increase, $96.8B, would be the result of higher prices, calculated USDA economists. Corn, wheat, and soybean would fetch an additional $37B this year compared to last. Higher broiler chicken prices would boost receipts by 55%. Revenue from cattle, hogs, turkeys, and milk also would climb. “Cash receipts for chicken eggs are expected to more than double,” said the USDA.

Farm production expenses were forecast to rise 18%, to a record $442B this year. “This would represent the largest year-to-year dollar increase in nominal terms on record,” said the USDA. Nearly every category of expense would go up. Fertilizer, lime, and soil conditioners would increase by 47%, fuel and oil by nearly 48%, interest costs by 41%, and livestock feed, the largest category, by 17%.


Nine to compete for OYF Award

Nine exceptional young farmers will participate in the 69th Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmer (OYF) Awards Weekend Jan. 27-29, 2023 in Manitowoc, WI at the Holiday Inn Manitowoc.   

The finalists include: Bryan & Maria Beranek, Crivitz; Adam & Melissa Baumann, Marathon; Brady & Lynsey Broedlow, Helenville; Michael & Courtney Gutschenritter, Oconomowoc; Mark & Vanna Leichtfuss, Two Rivers; Travis & Melissa Marti, Vesper; Dustin Scholtz, Eau Claire; Brody & Carolyn Stapel, Cedar Grove; and Tristan & Megan Swartz, Gilman.

The OYF candidates are sponsored to the state event by past OYF finalists, UW Extension County Ag Agents or other agricultural groups; sponsors can still contribute to the overall event or a specific candidate.   


Jersey Junior All Americans announced for 2022

Three Wisconsin youth were among 24 youth from across the U.S. that were recognized by the American Jersey Cattle Association as the owners of the Junior All American winners for 2022. Fall Heifer Calf, Annettes VIP Annie-ET, Caroline Powers, Columbus,  Reserve Jr All American; Five-Year-Old Cow,Meadowridge Vitality Strawberry, Alleah Anderson, Cumberland, Reserve Jr All American; Aged Cow, OEH-My Valentino Patiences, Matthew Thompson, Darlington, Reserve Jr All American.


9,000 hens killed due to Bird Flu

Missouri agriculture officials say nearly 9,000 laying hens were killed after confirmed cases of bird flu were found on a farm in Webster County.

The Missouri Dept. of Agriculture said in a news release that it is the 11th case of bird flu found in the state this year. Agriculture officials say the disease does not carry a health risk for humans. The USDA says more than 52.3 million birds in 46 states have been slaughtered as part of this year’s outbreak.


2023 World Dairy Expo Official Judges Named

World Dairy Expo announced the eight official judges selected to evaluate dairy cattle during World Dairy Expo 2023. These individuals were nominated and voted on by 2022 Dairy Cattle Show Exhibitors and include both first-time and long-time WDE judges.

The group of official judges for the 56th World Dairy Expo is as follows: Intl. Ayrshire Show, Kurt Wolf, Guttenberg, Iowa; Intl.l Brown Swiss Show, Chris Lahmers, Marysville, Ohio; Intl. Guernsey Show, Kevin Hartmann, Mulberry Grove, Ill.; Intl. Holstein Show, Lynn Harbaugh, Marion, Wis.; Intl. Junior Holstein Show, Callum McKinven, Canton de Hatley, Quebec, Canada; Intl. Jersey Show, Mike Duckett, Rudolph, Wis.; Intl. Milking Shorthorn Show, Brandon Ferry, Hilbert, Wis.; Intl. Red & White Show, Phillip Topp, Botkins, Ohio.


New Wisconsin Honey Queen tapped

Kaelyn Sumner of Cecil, Wis. is the 2023 Wisconsin Honey Queen. Sumner, daughter of Robert and Traci Sumner, was crowned during the annual Wisconsin Honey Producers Association convention in Brookfield, WI. 

A junior at Kansas State University, majoring in Agricultural Education with minors in Food Science and Entomology, Sumner will spend the rest of this year promoting the beekeeping industry at fairs, festivals, farmers markets and in classroom across Wisconsin.  In January 2024, she will represent Wisconsin at the American Honey Queen competition at the American Beekeeping Federation Convention in New Orleans. LA.


Despite damage control, feral hogs still multi-billion dollar problem

Eight years into a U.S. program to control damage from feral pigs, the invasive animals are still a multibillion-dollar plague on farmers, wildlife and the environment.

They've been wiped out in 11 of the 41 states where they were reported in 2014 or 2015. And there are fewer in parts of the other 30. But in spite of more than $100 million in federal money, officials estimate there are still 6 million to 9 million hogs gone wild nationwide and in three U.S. territories, doing at least $2.5 billion a year in U.S. damages.

Estimates in 2014 were 5 million hogs and $1.5 billion in damages. Experts say the bigger figures are due to better estimates, not increases.


Dog injured saving sheep from coyote attack

A Georgia farmer says his sheepdog is recovering at home two days after killing a pack of coyotes that attacked his flock of sheep, Associated Press reported.

The farmer from a town northeast of Atlanta says his Great Pyrenees named Casper killed eight coyotes to defend the flock. John Wierwiller told Atlanta’s WAGA-TV that the fight lasted longer than half an hour and left Casper bloodied with skin and part of his tail torn off.

LifeLine Animal Project has raised more than $15,000 for the sheepdog’s hospital bills. Packs of coyotes attacking pets have grown somewhat common in rural and growing suburban areas that abut wildlands throughout the Untied States.


Mexico wants to keep talking on trade disputes

Mexico's economy secretary has proposed yet another round of talks with the United States on a dispute over Mexico's energy sector.

Mexico hopes to stave off a full-fledged trade complaint under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. The United States says Mexico is unfairly favoring its state-owned electricity and oil companies over American competitors and clean-energy suppliers, the AP reported.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai appears willing to keep talking, but her office says she “underscored the urgency of prompt and meaningful progress" at a Thursday meeting. The two countries also appear headed for another commercial dispute over a Mexican ban on imports of genetically modified yellow corn.