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U.S. ethanol industry hoping for more overseas buying

(Kaylie Crowe)
Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 6:48 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - January’s low milk prices have helped trigger a payment under the Dairy Margin Coverage program. Because the national average margin for the month was $7.14, all dairy farms that selected the Tier 1 coverage, ranging from $7.50 through the $9.50 level and those in Tier 2 at the 7.50 and $8 levels will be getting a payment. Those payments activate when the difference between the national all milk price and the national average feed costs fall below a margin trigger selected by dairy producers.

The U.S. ethanol industry is hoping England will soon become a bigger customer for their product. Reports out of the United Kingdom say they will soon increase the amount of ethanol in their gasoline from the current 5% up to 10%. And right now their biofuel infrastructure isn’t big enough to meet the increased demand. Last year we exported 600 thousand barrels of ethanol to the United Kingdom—down about 55,000 from 2019 when they blended about 4.7 million barrels into their domestic fuel supply.

The value of all crops grown in Wisconsin took a 33% jump last year to a value of $4.14 billion. Corn took a 41% leap to $2.14 billion as the price averaged $4.15 a bushel for the year—up 72 cents from the 2019-2020 marketing year. The value of the soybean crop was up more than corn—up 61% to $1.08 billion as the average soybean price last year was $10.70 a bushel—up $2.28 from the year before. Also up in value last year were the alfalfa hay, barley and oat crops while other types of hay, potatoes, rye and winter wheat all fell in value.

Counties in Southern Wisconsin continue to turn out the biggest corn and soybean crops in the state. Last year Rock County led the state in both corn and soybean production with 27.2 million bushels of corn and 503 million bushels of soybeans. The top corn producing counties in our area last year were Dunn with 15.1 million bushels, St. Croix with almost 15 million bushels, Pierce county 13.2 billion and Chippewa with just over 12 million bushels. The leading soybean growing counties around here were Chippewa, Clark, Marathon, Dunn, Pierce and St. Croix counties—all over 2 million bushels with St. Croix just a tick short of 3 million.

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