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Ag Chat with Bob Bosold - July 2

Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 9:31 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Planted corn acres may be down nationally this year, according to this week’s Acreage Report from the USDA, but in Wisconsin total corn acres will be a little higher this year. That report shows Wisconsin farmers planted 4 million acres to corn this spring, up 200 thousand acres from last year. Almost 3 million of those acres are expected to be harvested for grain. Soybean acreage is also up in the state this year as farmers planted 2.05 million acres to beans this spring—up 300 thousand acres from last year. Other crops with increased plantings across the state this year are oats and rye. Crops planted on fewer acres this year include potatoes, winter wheat and hay.

That report also showed that U.S. corn stocks on the first of June amounted to 5.22 billion bushels, slightly more than last June. Of that supply, just over 3 billion bushels are in on-farm storage. Soybean stocks are just under 1.4 billion bushels with 633 million of those bushels stored on-farm. In Wisconsin, we have 202 million bushels of corn in storage—down 9% from last June. Just over half of those corn stocks are in on-farm storage bins. State soybean stocks are now just over 40 million bushels—28% below last year’s inventory on the first of June. About 12 and a half million of those bushels are in on-farm storage.

May prices for our field crops were a lot like May milk prices—not very good. Corn averaged $3.09 a bushel in May—down a penny from April but 12 cents less than last May. Soybean prices averaged $8.13 for the month—the same as the April price but 24 cents less than a year ago. The May oat price averaged $3.23 a bushel—down over 30 cents from both April and last May. Alfalfa hay brought $163 a ton in May—down $8 from April but down $69 a ton from last May. All other hay averaged $158 in May—down $31 a ton from a year ago.

We’re still number one-in cheesemaking that is. Last year Wisconsin churned out 26% of the total cheese produced in this country with about 24% of our total, or about 15 and a half million pounds being Specialty Cheeses. 96 of Wisconsin’s 127 cheese plants produced at least one type of specialty cheese last year. The most popular specialty varieties are Blue, Feta, Havarti, Hispanic types, Specialty mozzarella and Parmesan wheels. The biggest increase in a specialty cheese variety last year was for Monterey Jack, which went up by 40% from 2018.

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