Ag Briefs: One injured in farm vehicle crash

Wisconsin State Farmer
Agricultural Briefs


One injured in farm vehicle crash

A 42 year old Markesan man was seriously injured after the motorcycle he was operating collided with a farm tractor pulling a forage wagon in Dodge County on May 20. According to the Dodge County Sheriff's Office, the Markesan man was following the farm vehicle while operating his motorcycle and attempted to pass, striking the forage wagon as it made a left turn into a farm driveway.

The motorcyclist who was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, sustained serious life-threatening injuries and was flown from the scene to a Madison hospital. The driver of the tractor, a 38 year old Waupun man was not injured.


Planting speeds ahead

Near ideal weather conditions allowed for rapid planting progress and spurred crop development over the past week. According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, spring tillage was reported as 80% complete while 69% of the corn crop was planted, 3 days ahead of last year. Already 26% of the crop has emerged.

Soybean planting was 55% complete, with 17% of the plants up and growing. Seventy-eight percent of the expected oats crop has been planted, with 52% emerged. Winter wheat condition was rated 84% good to excellent statewide, up 2 percent from last week. All hay condition was reported 78% good to excellent statewide.


Study: Number of world’s farms to halve by 2100

New University of Colorado Boulder research shows the number of farms globally will shrink in half as the size of the average existing farms doubles by the end of the 21st century, posing significant risks to the world’s food systems.

Published today in the journal Nature Sustainability, the study is the first to track the number and size of farms year-over-year, from the 1960s and projecting through 2100. The study shows that even rural, farm-dependent communities in Africa and Asia will experience a drop in the number of operating farms.


Drought “is shrinking” U.S. winter wheat crop

Reuters reported that the International Grains Council cut its 2023/24 world wheat crop outlook by 4 million tonnes to 783 million tonnes, saying the decrease was driven by a downward revision for the United States to 45.2 million from 49.4 million.

The IGC added that three years of drought have left the U.S. hard red winter wheat crop in the worst shape in memory for many farmers.


Bill to protect WI food producers/products from unfair trade practices

In an effort to protect Made in Wisconsin businesses’ right to use common food names like “cheddar” in international markets, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined members of the U.S. House and Senate to introduce the Safeguarding American Value-Added Exports (SAVE) Act. The bill would support Wisconsin food producers and protect their products from unfair trade practices by foreign countries.

The SAVE Act would amend the Agriculture Trade Act of 1978 to include and define a list of common names for agricultural commodities, food products, and terms used in the marketing and packaging of products. The bill would also direct the Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative to negotiate with our foreign trading partners to defend the right to use common names for ag commodities in those same foreign markets.


Organic food sales pass $60B in 2022

Organic food sales in the U.S. in 2022 broke through $60 billion for the first time, hitting another high-level mark for the resilient organic sector. Total organic sales – including organic non-food products, were a record $67.6 billion*, according to the 2023 Organic Industry Survey released May 10 by the Organic Trade Association.

The organic market grew despite challenges: inflation, supply chain disruptions, competing food labels and a labor shortage.


UW-Superior plans to go solar

Construction is expected to get underway in the fall for a 440-kilowatt solar array on an old soccer field that will feed the main substation on campus, according to the Superior Telegram. The renewable energy project was approved by the State Building Commission on May 3.

Dustin Johnson, faciliites director said the project is expected to generate more than 536,000 kilowatts of energy for the university, saving UWS about $42,000 a year.


China may cancel more U.S. corn purchases

Bloomberg reported that top corn importer China could cancel more purchases of the grain from the U.S. because the country can buy more cheaply from Brazil and as some local producers of hog feed replace corn with wheat in their rations.

Corn futures in Chicago have come under pressure from Chinese cancellations of 832,000 tons in the past three weeks. Increased competition from Brazil is underscored by forecasts for it to pass the US as the top exporter this year.

China went on a corn buying spree in March, with purchases of almost 4 million tons announced by the U.S. government between March 14 and April 14. But U.S. corn is now less competitive, with supplies from Brazil about $30 a ton cheaper for delivery in the third quarter, traders told Bloomberg.