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Round two begins for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 7:09 AM CDT
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - The sign-up is starting today for a second round of the federal Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. U.S. Agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue told me in a Friday interview that up to another $14 billion is being made available to farmers dealing with market disruptions and associated costs because of coronavirus. Payments will be made for price trigger commodities, flat-rate crops and sales commodities. The sign-up period - through county Farm Service Agency offices - will run through Dec. 31. The first round of the CFAP earlier this year committed $16 billion in assistance.

Wisconsin’s dairy cows were busy during August, with the state’s milk production holding steady. Herds in the state produced 2.6 billion gallons of milk during August, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture milk production report. That’s a three-tenths of a percent decrease compared with August of 2019. The production came from 1.3 million head, which was equal to the state’s dairy-cow numbers in July and 10,000 fewer than were milked during August of 2019. Wisconsin’s cows averaged 2,080 pounds during August, which is a 10-pound increase compared with the per-cow production in 2019.

Production in the 24 top milk-producing states was 17.8 billion pounds during August, a 1.9 percent increase compared with August of 2019. Those states' per-cow average was 2,009 pounds during August, 25 pounds more than each cow produced during August of 2019. Nationally, the August production was 18.6 billion pounds, a 1.8 percent increase compared with August of 2019. California again led the nation in production during August, followed in order by Wisconsin, Idaho, New York and Texas.

Another USDA report is showing Wisconsin a distant second to Idaho in last year’s potato production. The state’s spud growers raised 28.7 million hundredweight of potatoes during 2019; that compares with 1.3 million hundredweight grown by Idaho farmers. The Wisconsin crop represented about $339 million in production and about $323 million in sales.

A Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources survey is indicating that the state’s wolf population is rising. State DNR officials said last week that the survey showed 1,039 to 1,057 wolves in the state’s packs, a 13 percent increase compared with

the 2018-19 numbers. Using another method - a new occupancy model, the DNR’s estimates set the pack at 835 to 1,333 wolves, with the most likely estimate being 1,047.

The Wisconsin 4-H Foundation has kicked off an art contest open to any state 4-H member, with cash prizes totaling about $1,000. Rules and submission information is available through county University of Wisconsin-Extension offices or at the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation’s Web site.

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