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Senator Tammy Baldwin seeking more help for Wisconsin farmers

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 8:21 AM CDT
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - One of Wisconsin’s U.S. senators is calling for the Trump Administration to treat Wisconsin farmers equally to the South in offering relief for trade-related losses. Senator Tammy Baldwin last week sent a letter to President Trump and agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue, also asking them to focus on long-standing economic strength - not only temporary payments - for Wisconsin farmers. Senator Baldwin cited a recent Government Accountability Office report that said payments to farmers this year for financial losses in international trade conflicts. That report said the South and other states were favored over Wisconsin farmers and commodities, and that large farms were favored over smaller farms. She said that, though President Trump recently said Wisconsin farmers are “over the hump,” they’re not.

Wisconsin’s egg production during August hit 192 million eggs, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture egg and chicken report. That production is a 2 percent decrease compared with the July production, but a 3 percent increase compared with the production in August of 2019. There was an average of 7.7 million layers during Augusta in the state, also a 2 percent decrease compared with July, but an 8 percent increase compared with August of 2019. The eggs per 100 layers were 2,509 in August, down slightly from July and a 5 percent decrease compared with August of 2019. The national production was at 9.3 billion eggs during August, a 2 percent decrease compared with July but an 8 percent increase compared with August of 2019.

The Agriculture Workforce Coalition, a group of more than 160 American farm organizations, is asking the White House Coronavirus Task Force to take more steps and put forth more federal resources in helping farmers and ranchers protect their employees from becoming infected with coronavirus. The letter says farmers have been doing their best to provide safe workspaces and to promote on-farm and off-farm safety. Among its requests are assuring that adequate testing and timely testing results are available for workers, and that assistance is made available to farmers for mitigation costs involving coronavirus transmission. The group also is asking for food-chain priority in distribution of personal protective equipment and any future coronavirus vaccines.

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