Ag briefs: Dairy processing grants available

Wisconsin State Farmer


Wisconsin processors: apply for DATCP Dairy Processing Grants

Wisconsin dairy processors are invited to apply for DATCP Dairy Processor Grants. The grants are intended to foster innovation, improve profitability and sustain the long-term viability of Wisconsin’s dairy processing facilities. Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is accepting proposals through April 13, 2018.

“The demand for quality Wisconsin dairy products continues to grow around the world,” said Kathy Schmitt, director of DATCP’s Agriculture and Food Center. “To meet the demand, dairy processors need to be innovative, efficient and adaptable. They need to be able to meet a number of regulatory requirements. These grants are designed to help them do so.”

The Dairy Processor Grant is customizable for each processor and can be used to hire consultants to address a wide range of business needs including food safety, staff training or modernization.

Eligible applicants must operate a licensed dairy processing plant located in Wisconsin which is engaged in pasteurizing, processing or manufacturing milk or dairy products. Recipients will be chosen through a competitive selection process.

A total grant up to $50,000 is available per dairy processor per year. The dairy processor is required to provide a match of at least 20 percent of the grant amount.

Find application materials at

Contact Juli Speck at 608-224-5134 or for additional questions.


Milk price down in Wisconsin, other reporting states

The Wisconsin all milk price for January 2018 was $16.30 per hundredweight (cwt) according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service — Agricultural Prices report. This was $1.50 lower than last month’s price and $3.00 lower than last January’s price.

The U.S. all milk price for January was $16.10 per cwt, 20 cents lower than Wisconsin’s price and $1.10 lower than last month’s U.S. price.

All of the 23 major milk producing states had a lower price when compared with December. Decreases ranged from 50 cents in Kansas to $1.60 in Idaho. Michigan had the lowest price of the 23 reporting states at $14.90 per cwt.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) 40‐pound block cheese price closed at $1.5300 per pound on Feb. 27, while barrels were $1.4700 per pound. The CME butter price was $2.1825 per pound.

For the week ending Feb. 17, 2018, the Agricultural Marketing Service U.S. weekly 40‐pound block cheese price averaged $1.5273 per pound, and 500 pound barrels adjusted to 38 percent moisture averaged $1.3874 per pound. The U.S. butter price was $2.0702 per pound.


Compeer approves return of $188 million to member-owners

Compeer Financial, formerly Badgerland Financial, 1st Farm Credit Services and AgStar Financial Services, and its Board of Directors announced the recently merged cooperative has approved $118.6 million in patronage be returned to almost 39,000 patronage-eligible member-owners.

Of the $118.6 million returned, more than $43.1 million was distributed back to nearly 11,000 Wisconsin member-owners in the 49 Wisconsin counties Compeer Financial serves.

“Compeer Financial is committed to our cooperative model and the value it brings to our member-owners,” said Rod Hebrink, President and Chief Executive Officer of Compeer Financial. “One of the most important cooperative benefits is our patronage program. As a newly merged organization, this payment represents the first installment on the commitment made to our member-owners to redeem the patronage allocations made by the organizations that are now Compeer Financial.”

“Our member-owners use these funds to reinvest into their farms and businesses, directly impacting local and state economies. In a year of change, we want to reiterate our commitment to championing agriculture and the rural communities we call home,” added Hebrink. 


Wisconsin cheese production shows increase from last year

Of the 1.08 billion pounds of cheese produced in the United States in 2018, Wisconsin accounted for 283,924 compared to 289,844 in December 2017 and 276,197 in January 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service.  

Italian cheese topped the list for Wisconsin with 143,814 pounds of Italian types of cheese made in January 2018, down from December 2017, but up 2.1 percent from January 2017. Mozzarella production was up 1.5 percent from January 2017 when 91,765 pounds were made compared to 93,100 pounds produced in January 2018.

Cheddar cheese production in the state dropped from December 2017 when 62,884 pounds were produced compared to 60,100 in January 2018, but increased from January 2017 when 59,499 pounds of cheddar were produced. 


Remaining deer at Winona County farm found to have disease

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health has released updated results on a Winona County deer farm where chronic wasting disease was discovered in November.

The board says in a release that the last seven remaining white-tailed deer harvested at the farm were found to have the disease. Samples from deer that the producer had moved from the farm to a Winona city park did not show the disease.

The board is working with the owner to clean and decontaminate the enclosure that contained the deer.

The board says it is monitoring one other farmed deer herd in the state, in Crow Wing County. That herd is quarantined and being tested for the disease.

Chronic wasting disease is fatal to deer and elk, and there are no known treatments or vaccines.