Wisconsin has fewer dairy farms, but producing more milk
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Wisconsin now has less than 7 thousand dairy farms but those that are still in operation are turning out a lot of milk. Final figures for 2020 show milk production in the state set a new record for the year at 30.7 billion pounds—up from 30.6 in 2019. The reason was more milk per cow since there were about 2,000 fewer cows in the herd last year. Production per cow averaged 24,408 pounds last year—up 256 pounds from 2019.
Farm Service Agency officials say there are still a lot of farms across the country that haven’t enrolled the Ag Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage safety net programs for this year. The deadline to enroll is next Monday March 15th and so far only about 1.3 million or 81% of the eligible farms have signed up. Agency officials figure there are right around 2.3 million farms eligible for the programs.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently met with the agricultural leaders from Mexico and Canada. He and Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture talked about climate change and food security. His discussions with Canada’s Ag Minister focused on climate smart food production, forestry practices and finding science based solutions to reduce climate change. Reports say there was not much conversation over trade issues, like dairy with Canada and fruit and vegetable trade with Mexico.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has some grant money they want to give out to Specialty Crop producers. The 3 year grants, ranging in size from ten thousand to 100 thousand dollars, are for projects that would enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops through research, education or market development. Crops included would be fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, nursery crops, herbs and others. Applications are due at DATCP by April 2nd with the projects to begin later this fall.
Two dairy judging teams from the UW-River Falls recently swept the 2021 Midwest Regional Dairy Challenge. The virtual contest featured 19 teams that were given the situation on a Midwest dairy farm and then asked to identify strengths of the farm and offer solutions for some of the weaker areas of that farm. The River falls teams are coached by Dr. Sylvia Kehoe.
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