Ag Briefs: DMC payments triggered for the first time in 2023

Wisconsin State Farmer
Ag news across Wisconsin and beyond.


DMC payments triggered for the first time in 2023

For the first time this year, a Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) payment will be issued. Yesterday, USDA’s Farm Service Agency announced that February’s DMC income over feed costs calculation is $7.94/cwt. Milk covered at the $9.50 level will realize an indemnity of $1.56, Dairy Herd Management reported.

Each 1 million pounds insured at $9.50 will be paid $1,237.09 before sequestration. This month’s payment almost covers the annual premium.

September’s All-Milk price was $23.10/cwt. Premium alfalfa hay was $328/ton, corn was $6.64/bu. and soybean meal was $482.40.


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 run from 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 health challenges and suicide. To register visit or call (608) 262-9336.


WHA honors doled out

Top performing cows in Wisconsin were announced during the Wisconsin Holstein Association annual Adult Holstein Convention in Wisconsin Rapids, Feb. 24 and 25. 

Recognized were cows owned by Tom Kestell, Ever-Green-View, Waldo; Wargo Acres, Lodi; and Valley Drive Holsteins, Campellsport. The overall Top Performer was Valley-Drive Mctchn Snip EX-90 who at 6-08 made 53,786 lbs. of milk, 5.2% and 2807 lbs. of fat, and 3.4% and 1782 lbs. of protein in 305 days. 

Wall of Farm inductees were also honored. They include: person, Eugene Halbach; bull, Ocean-View Sexation; and cow, Triple-J-Mac Bic Betty. Honored at the evening banquet was this year's Holstein Horizon award winner, Nick and Jessica Sarbacker of Heritage Holsteins, Whitewater; Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder, Nick Kress and Amanda Knoener of Kress-Hill Dairy in Newton; Marlowe Nelson Distinguished Service, Corey Geiger, past WHA and Holstein USA President and editor of Hoard’s Dairyman; and Distinguished Holstein Breeder award winners the Rickert Family of Rickland Holsteins of Eldorado. 


Jan. cull cow numbers hit high mark

Culling cows appears to be one way dairy producers are dealing with negative margins, which allows them to manage cash flows and pay bills.

For the week ending Jan. 28, dairy cow slaughter exceeded 68,000 head. That’s one of the biggest cull numbers ever reported for late January. This is comparable only to 2021 and the mid 1980s when the government offered herd buyouts, according to Daily Dairy Report.

For the first four weeks of this year, nearly 273,000 dairy cows were sent to slaughter, the most in over 35 years.


$4K awarded to ag literacy projects

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation’s Agriculture in the Classroom program has awarded $4,000 to educators and agriculture literacy programs. Grant dollars will support innovative core curricula initiatives that incorporate agriculture concepts while helping students meet academic standards and develop career readiness skills. 

Agriculture literacy programs that have been awarded funding include: UW-Platteville Collegiate Farm Bureau – “Ag Day on the Farm”; Cranberry Learning, Inc; St. Mary St. Michael Catholic, Clarks Mills; Washington School, Wisconsin Rapids; SAGES, Fox Lake; Madison Country Day School; Walworth Co. Fair; UW – Madison Collegiate Farm Bureau – ; Waupun Parks and Rec; Henry David Thoreau School, Milwaukee; St. Mary School, Richland Center; and Green Bay East FFA Alumni & Agriscience. 


Egg production, chicken numbers slowly climb

Wisconsin egg production during January 2023 was 151 million eggs, up 2% from last month but down 16% from last year, according to the latest Chickens and Eggs report from the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The average number of all layers on hand during January 2023 was 5.80 million, up 1% from last month but down 18% from the same month last year. Eggs per 100 layers for January were 2,596, up 1%from last month and up 2% from last January.


DATCP recruiting students for next Ag Youth Council

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is accepting applications for the next Wisconsin Agriculture Youth Council. High school students who will be seniors during the 2023 – 2024 school year should apply now for the council.

The purpose of the Wisconsin Agriculture Youth Council is to encourage young people to engage with state government and increase their awareness of DATCP's interactions with Wisconsin's agriculture industry. Students serve a one-year term and receive a certificate at the completion of their term.

DATCP will accept applications through Mar. 31, 2023. To access the application and additional info., visit


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.


USDA proposes new requirements for the “Product of USA” label claim

The USDA released a proposed rule with new regulatory requirements to better align the voluntary “Product of USA” label claim with consumer understanding of what the claim means. The proposed rule allows the voluntary “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” label claim to be used on meat, poultry and egg products only when they are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States. The increased clarity and transparency provided by this proposed change would prevent consumer confusion and help ensure that consumers understand where their food comes from.


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.


Half of California freed from drought

Tremendous rains and snowfall since late last year have freed half of California from drought. U.S. Drought Monitor data released Mar. 2 show that moderate or severe drought covers about 49% of the state, nearly 17% of the state is free of drought or a condition described as abnormally dry. About a third of the state is still abnormally dry.

Just three months ago virtually all of California was in drought, including at extreme and exceptional levels. The turnabout began with atmospheric rivers that pounded the state from late December through mid-January, Associated Press reported.