Ag Briefs: WI January milk production up

Wisconsin State Farmer
Wisconsin briefs


WI January milk production up

Milk production in Wisconsin during January 2023 totaled 2.71 billion pounds, up 2 percent from the previousJanuary according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Milk Production report. Theaverage number of milk cows during January, at 1.27 million head, was unchanged from last month but down3,000 from January 2022. Monthly production per cow averaged 2,135 pounds, up 40 pounds from last January.


Number of WI farms remains unchanged

The total number of farms in Wisconsin in 2022 was 64,100, unchanged from 2021 according to the USDA,National Agricultural Statistics Service – Farms and Land in Farms 2022 Summary report. Total land in farms for Wisconsin during 2022 was 14.2 million acres. Wisconsin’s average farm size in 2022 was 222 acres, unchanged from 2021.

On the national scene as a whole, the agency reported that 6.4% of all U.S. dairy farms permitted to sell milk shuttered their dairies in 2022, the sixth highest number since 1992 when this data has been tracked. As a result of fewer farms, the average herd size is 337 cows, up 20 cows since 2022. For four years running, the nation's herd size has increased by over 20 head. According to Hoard's Dairyman, the Midwest herd size increased from 51 to 242 cows per herd in the past 31 years.


USDA to survey farmers’ planting intentions for 2023

As the 2023 crop production season begins, the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) willcontact producers nationwide to determine their plans for the upcoming growing season.

NASS will mail the survey to 2,100 Wisconsin producers on Feb. 17, asking producers to provide information about the types of crops they intend to plant in 2023, how many acres they intend to plant, and the amounts of grain and oilseed they store on their farms. Producers can respond online at or by mail. Those who do not respond by Feb. 27 may be emailed a reminder or contacted for an interview.


Compeer Financial Women’s Seminar March 8

On International Women’s Day ‒ March 8, 2023 ‒ Compeer Financial will host a virtual Women’s Seminar, providing attendees the opportunity to hear from leadership experts and network with other local women in agriculture.

The free half-day seminar will address a variety of topics women in agriculture face, with speakers Elaine Kub and Kelly McDonald. Subjects will include: Making Tough Decisions in Tense Commodity Markets and Purposeful Play.

The event will also feature the inspiring story of Compeer Financial’s 2023 GroundBreaker of the Year award winner and will allow time for discussion and networking. The seminar begins at 9 a.m. with closing remarks at 11:30 a.m. Visit for agenda details and to register for the virtual program.


AgrAbility of WI Summit set for April 6

Join farmers and veterans for the 2023 AgrAbility of Wisconsin Summit, to be held April 6, at the Cranberry Country Lodge, in Tomah, Wis. This year’s free event has a focus on Veteran farmers and farmer wellness and will runfrom 8:30 am – 3:30 pm. Meals will be provided.

This one-day program gives participants an opportunity to network and learn about resources available for beginning and long-time farmers through AgrAbility and other Wisconsin programs.

The Summit will kick off with a farmer – veteran networking breakfast from 8:30-9:30am. Volunteers from the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Wisconsin will be in attendance to discuss their program as well. Keynote speaker Jeff Ditzenberger will share his journey with mental health and the stigma surrounding mental healthchallenges and suicide.

Other presentations include: Who's Looking for Healthier Soil?, Strategic thinking: Adding Value to the Farm Business; Assistive Technology & AgrAbility Update; DATCP Veteran Farmer & Wellness Programs. To register visit or call (608) 262-9336.


First tree tapping set

The Wisconsin Maple Syrup Producer's Association (WMSPA) will hold its annual First Tree Tapping on March 18, 2023 at Pozarski Family Farms LLC., 29999 130th Ave., Boyd, WI. The tapping will begin at 10:00 a.m. with the reading of the Governor’s Proclamation, signed by Governor Evers, declaring March 15 – April 15, 2023 Maple Month in Wisconsin. After the proclamation is read, WMSPA Maple Marketing Intern, Alicia Baroun and 76th Alice in Dairyland, Taylor Schaefer will tap a maple tree.

After the tapping, tours will be available of the sugarbush along with snacks and refreshments. This event is open to all ages. Please come out to celebrate Maple Month in WI. For more information go to


2023 State 4-H Meats Judging contest results

The Grant Co. senior and junior teams topped their respective divisions in the State 4-H Meats Judging Contest held Feb. 4, 2023, in Madison.

Grant Co. sr. team members include: Libby Vogt, Cameron Patterson, Iris Adams and Michael Edgington. The team was coached by Dennis Patterson. Jefferson Co. fielded the second place team in the senior division.

The top individual judge in the senior division was Hanna Brattlie of Jefferson Co.

The top junior team was from Grant Co. A Team consisted of: Kayla Buttles, Aiden Patterson, Anna Drinkwater, Kegan Patterson. The team is coached by Dennis Patterson. 

The State 4-H Meats Judging Contest consists of evaluating and ranking classes of hams, beef ribs, pork carcasses, lamb, beef, and pork retail cut classes. Contestants also identified 30 retail cuts of beef, pork or lamb and 10 cuts of processed meats products, quality and yield graded 2 beef carcasses. Seniors had to give two set of oral reasons on ranking classes. 


New York finalizes OT changes for farm workers

New York officials gave final approval on Feb. 22 for a measure that will lower the hourly threshold for when farm workers qualify for overtime pay. Under the adopted measure, the overtime pay threshold will gradually be reduced to 40 hours by 2032.

Right now, farm workers qualify for overtime after working more than 60 hours per week. To help farm owners adjust to the new measure, the state is expanding tax credits for farmers to ensure the new standards are implemented smoothly.