ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) -- The Senate Agriculture Committee passed the farm bill yesterday by a 20-1 vote. The Senate Farm Bill contains enhancements to the dairy Margin Protection Program, including improved coverage levels and greater program flexibility. The measure raises the maximum covered margin to $9 per hundredweight and adjusts the minimum percentage of milk that can be insured. It also contains provisions that will help producers access technical and financial assistance to carry out conservation practices on operations. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has voiced his intentions of having the bill on the Senate floor before the July 4 recess.
The USDA trimmed both the 2017-18 old-crop and the 2018-19 new-crop corn and soybean ending stocks in its June Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. Corn production for 2018-19 remained at 14.04 billion bushels, with an average yield of 174 bushels per acre. New-crop corn ending stocks were 1.577 billion bushels, down 105 million bushels from May. The average farmgate price for corn was at $3.40 per bushel. New-crop soybean ending stocks, in particular, came in below pre-report expectations, at 385 million bushels, down 30 million bushels from the May report. Soybean production and yield remained the same, at 4.28 billion bushels and yields at 48.5 bushels per acre. The average soybean farmgate price was pegged at $8.75 per bushel.
In Wisconsin, winter wheat growers are going to have a busy year. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, winter wheat production is forecast at 14.7 million bushels, 27 percent more than last year, with yields estimated at 70 bushels per acre. State growers intend to harvest 210,000 acres for grain, up 24 percent from 2017. Nationally, winter wheat production is projected to reach 1.2 billion bushels, up 1 percent from the May forecast, but down six percent from last year's crop. The yield is forecast to come in at 48.4 bushels per acre across the country, up slightly from last month, but down 1.8 bushels from last year's average yield of 50.2 bushels per acre.
The 89th Annual State FFA Convention will be wrapping up in Madison later today. And a few winners from our area in their proficiencies were Naomi Fogel in Agricultural Sales and Conrad Domine both from Cochrane Fountain City FFA in Forestry Management and Katelyn Zimmerman from Spencer FFA in Goat Production. Another member from our area receiving a State Star in Ag Placement is Shad Goplin from the Whitehall FFA.
And also on Wednesday was the naming of the new officer team for the 2018-19 year. From Section 1 Alexis Kwak from Prairie Farm FFA will be an officer and she is only 16 years old, Section 2 Paige Nelson from the Ellsworth FFA, Section 3 Collin Waltzeen from Arcadia FFA and from Section 7 Jillian Tyler from the Granton FFA, this is the first time in 20 years that Granton has had a state officer. The convention will wrap up today with the naming of our State FFA President.