ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- Today begins a busy week for agriculture in Wisconsin. At 9 o'clock this morning the gates to the 65th annual Wisconsin farm Technology days open on the edge of Marshfield. The 3 day show is being hosted this year by the Heiman and Sternweis families with the Sternweis farm's 40 cow rotary parlor being one of the featured attractions. The emphasis of the show will again be forages with field demonstrations starting at 10 featuring hay mowing, merging and chopping. The show will run until 4 all 3 days with adult admission of $8 per person.
The other big event that kicks off today is the annual Northern Wisconsin State Fair in Chippewa Falls. While the official opening is tomorrow, there will be activity in the 4-H area with the hog show starting about 9 this morning. Wednesday the youth will show their beef and sheep with the meat animal auction also on Wednesday in the Coliseum. On Thursday it's the dairy show with open shows over the weekend. A change this year at the fair is the draft horse hitch show. That will now be held on Sunday rather than on Wednesday. Also, just for today, there will be no admission charged to get into the fair.
Dairy prices aren't getting any better. The June Class 3 price came out at $15.21 a hundred--$1.23 less than a year ago. So far this year the Class 3 has averaged $14.41.
But the milk and cheese just keep on coming. In May, Wisconsin cheese makers produced 287 and a half million pounds-up about a half percent from a year ago. Production of Italian and Mozzarella varieties was up in May while output of Cheddar and American type cheese was down from a year ago. Nationally cheese production reached 1.1 billion pounds in May-a jump of almost a percent and a half from last May. Wisconsin continues to be the leader in U.S. cheese production-outpacing California by over 70 million pounds in May as their cheese output fell over 1%. Idaho and New Mexico rank third and fourth in cheese output.
Crops continue to look good around the country. As of Sunday, 37% of the corn was silking-up from 18% a year ago and the 5 year average. And the crop is rated 75% good to excellent with the only problems with the crop being in Texas, Kansas and Missouri. The progress of the soybeans is also ahead of normal as 47% of the crop is now blooming-over 20 points ahead of normal. The soybean crop this week is rated 71% good to excellent across the country. This week's Crop Progress Report also shows 63% of the winter wheat has been harvested with 81% of the spring wheat headed out. And 10% of the oats have been harvested as over 90% of the crop is headed with 78% of the barley also headed.
In Wisconsin, 6% of the corn has silked as the crop is rated 83% in good to excellent condition. In the soybean fields, 29% of the plants are in bloom and 2% have set pods. The crop is rated 81% good to excellent. 81% of the oats have headed around the state as oats are rated 88% good to excellent with potatoes not far behind with an 86% good to excellent rating. State farmers are also a little ahead of normal with their haymaking as they now have 56% of their second crop off. But topsoil moisture ratings fell a little this week as it's now rated 87% adequate to surplus, 21% short and 2% very short.