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President Biden may issue executive order on agriculture during Wisconsin visit

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 7:15 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - President Joe Biden will lead a delegation from Washington into southwest and western Wisconsin later today to talk about agricultural issues, including some dairy initiatives. Their schedule calls for them to fly to LaCrosse and then helicopter to the Dick and Kim Cates farm in Iowa County and then go to the Mahogany dairy near Cashton for ice cream before returning to Washington. Early reports say the president will issue an executive order regarding agriculture and also explain some updated programs for the dairy industry

The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee has finished its work on tge fiscal year 2022 for agriculture. That includes the budgets for USDA, the Food and Drug Administration and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The new budget would be $26.6 billion—up 1.3% from the 2021 budget. Total spending in the plan for all of agriculture would amount to almost $198 billion.

Rains last week across much of the country’s major growing areas helped the condition of the corn and soybean crops but still crop conditions didn’t improve. The amount of corn now in the good to excellent category went down another 1% this week to 64%. That’s the 10th lowest corn rating for the end of June in the past 12 years—below only 2017 and 2019. Improvements in the corn crop in Iowa, Illinois and Michigan were offset by declines in the crop in Minnesota, Ohio and South Dakota. The soybean rating for this week didn’t change from a week ago as it held at 60% good to excellent. States that saw a drop in soybean condition this week include Minnesota, South Dakota, Tennessee and Kansas but Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin saw a little improvement.

In Wisconsin, the soybean crop did get better with the rains as it’s now rated 68% good to excellent—up 6% from last week. State farmers also report 11% of the plants are already blooming. The condition of the corn crop didn’t change from a week ago as it’s still rated 69% good to excellent. The oats are rated 75% good to excellent with 79% of the crop headed. Potatoes around the state also look good as that crop is rated 88% good to excellent. Farmers have also taken 59% of their second hay crop—about a week ahead of normal. Topsoil moisture improved quite a bit from a week earlier as it’s now rated 72% adequate to surplus.

correction: A previous version of this story indicated Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack would be part of the delegation, but that is no longer the case. The trip will focus on infrastructure framework instead.

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