Wisconsin briefs: WI officials act to help Plains farmers

Wisconsin State Farmer
Wisconsin briefs


Dairy conference in Chippewa Falls 

Dairy farmers, agriculture industry professionals, and anyone with a connection to the dairy industry is cordially invited to a dairy conference sponsored by Ag Risk Managers and CCF Bank on Tuesday, Aug. 29 at the Horizons Lounge and Banquet Center, located at 10764 County Hwy. Q, Chippewa Falls, Wis. 

This year’s conference will feature world class speakers Walt Coleman, a sixth-generation Arkansas dairyman and longtime National Football League referee, Farmer Mac economist Ryan Kuhns, and Ag Risk Managers founder Fran Felber as they present industry-specific trends, data, and advice for dairy farmers milking anywhere from 50 cows to 5,000 cows and all herd sizes in between. 

The event begins at 9 a.m. and ends promptly at 3 p.m., with lunch provided.

To RSVP, please give your name and number of guests by calling Ag Risk Managers at (715) 418-2676 or emailing rsvp@agriskman.com by Aug. 20.


July milk production sets record

Milk production in Wisconsin during July 2017 totaled 2.59 billion pounds, up 1 percent from the previous July, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Milk Production report. The average number of milk cows during July, at 1.28 million head, was the same as both last month and last year. Monthly production per cow averaged 2,025 pounds, up 15 pounds from last July.

Milk production in the 23 major States during July totaled 17.2 billion pounds, up 1.9 percent from July 2016. June revised production, at 16.9 billion pounds, was up 1.7 percent from June 2016. The June revision represented an increase of 5 million pounds.

Production per cow in the 23 major States averaged 1,969 pounds for July, 21 pounds above July 2016. This is the highest production per cow for the month of July since the 23 State series began in 2003. The number of milk cows on farms in the 23 major States was 8.73 million head, 72,000 head more than July 2016, but 1,000 head less than June 2017.

Milk production in the United States during July totaled 18.2 billion pounds, up 1.8 percent from July 2016. Production per cow in the United States averaged 1,940 pounds for July, 20 pounds above July 2016.


Wisconsin officials act to help Northern Plains drought 

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is clearing the way for farmers in that state to help out their drought-stricken colleagues in the Northern Plains. 

Walker has declared a 30-day state of emergency for the purpose of transporting loads of forage to the Dakotas and Montana. All three states have been dealing with extreme drought this summer. 

State officials in Wisconsin are relaxing certain commercial driving restrictions and fees to help with the transport of hay and other forage. 

North Dakota's Agriculture Department, North Dakota State University and the Michigan-based nonprofit Ag Community Relief this month announced a program to accept hay donations at a site near the Fargo campus and distribute it to needy producers in the three states through a lottery drawing next month. 


Report studies farm computer use

Nearly three our of four Wisconsin farms of Wisconsin farms own or lease a computer, just 1 percent higher than the typical non-farm American citizen, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service Farm Computer Use report.

Farms using computers for their farm business increased slightly to 49 percent, 2 percentage points above the national percentage, which rose to 47 percent. Seventy-three percent of Wisconsin farms have Internet access, unchanged from 2015.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) remains the most common method of access, with 39 percent of farms in Wisconsin with access to the Internet utilizing DSL, up 5 percentage points from 2015. In 2017, mobile Internet service was the second most common way to access the Internet in Wisconsin.

The proportion of Wisconsin farms using satellite service decreased 7 percentage points from 2015, falling to 15 percent. Fiber optic was used by 6 percent of farms.


Assembly committee to take comments on gun class bill 

A legislative committee is set to take public comments on a bill that would allow high schools to offer gun safety courses. 

Under the Republican bill, the state superintendent would have to work with the Department of Natural Resources, police or an organization that specializes in firearm safety to develop the curriculum for the course. Schools wouldn't be required to offer the class and live ammunition wouldn't be allowed. 

The Assembly Committee on Education is set to hold a public hearing on the bill Thursday morning in the state Capitol. 

The Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, the Madison school district and the League of Women Voters all have registered in opposition. The Safari Club and Wisconsin FORCE, a group of gun and firing range owners, have registered in support.