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Congress to discuss new farm bill soon

Published: Oct. 30, 2020 at 6:06 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The next Farm Bill isn’t scheduled to be in place until 2023 but talks in Congress to get a new bill will begin soon. Senators from both sides of the aisle say those talks will begin shortly after the new Congress is in place early next year. The Agriculture Committees will lead those discussions which members say will include trade issues, crop insurance, finding new markets, conservation efforts, feeding programs and more.

One of the more pleasant surprises on farmers' bottom lines has been fertilizer prices. Surveys show prices are lower now than they were last spring. Anhydrous ammonia prices are down about 14%, Urea is down 28% while liquid nitrogen and potash prices are 9% lower. And by next spring prices are expected to be lower than in 2019 when prices were the lowest in the past 10 years. Fertilizer prices this fall are averaging around $90 an acre. Economists point to a record amount of prevented plantings back in 2019, less corn acres this year and lower energy prices as the main reasons for the price drops.

All $50 million that Governor Tony Evers set aside from the CARES Act funding to help state farmers get through the Coronavirus Pandemic has been sent out. In the 1st round, $41.6 million was sent out to almost 22,000 farmers in 71 counties. For the second round the income levels were lowered for eligibility and that meant 3,300 more farmers could get some of the money. Almost 60% of the $8 million that went out in the second round of payments went to farmers with a gross income below $40,000.

Wisconsin had 2 more National Proficiency Award winners recognized yesterday afternoon at the 93rd National FFA Convention which is being held virtually this year because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Emily Makos from the Juda FFA in southern Wisconsin received her recognition in Small Animal Production and Care. She started with one rabbit when she was 8 years old and now has expanded her flock to multiple breeds and over 200 animals. Our 2nd winner yesterday was Andrew Mehus from the Cochrane-Fountain City FFA in Specialty Animal Production. Andrew is involved in the management of a 200 head herd of Rocky Mountain Elk. He is involved in gathering shed antlers that are used for their mineral content. The convention will end later tonight.

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