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African Swine Fever continues to impact China and the Dominican Republic

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 7:09 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Farmers across the country and around the world are facing some challenging times this growing season. In Brazil, farmers have had to deal with another round of frost which has shrunk the corn crop there while in Russia the bad weather has shrunk their grain harvest by almost 10% from a year ago. In the southern U.S. farmers are worried their corn harvest will be delayed and shortened because of continuing heavy rains and states like North Dakota which have been hit by a severe drought this summer now have another problem in their fields—grasshoppers. Farmers in parts of North Dakota say the insects are destroying their pastures and barley crop. One North Dakota farmer reported they have eaten 300 acres of barley right down to the ground. Where he normally gets as many as 3,000 bales of straw, this year he got just 53. Montana farmers are also reporting lost crops because of the grasshoppers which reportedly are moving east.

African Swine Fever continues to show up around the world. China, which has the world’s largest hog herd, is still trying to recover from an outbreak there a few years ago while Europe and other parts of Asia have seen more recent outbreaks of the disease. But the most recent outbreak has been closer to home. USDA animal health officers say they have discovered the disease in 11 of the Dominican Republic’s 32 provinces. That means tens of thousands of pigs in that country will have to be destroyed to prevent the spread of the disease since there is no vaccine to deal with African Swine Fever.

It cost more to operate a mid-size farm in Wisconsin last year. New numbers from the USDA show expenses for those farms went up 3% from 2019 to almost $11 billion for state farmers. Costing the most was feed which has gone up 6% in each of the past 2 years to just under $2.3 billion in 2020. Farm Services were the second biggest farm expense last year at nearly 1 and a half billion dollars. The breakdown shows the average mid-size farm in the state had expenses of almost 168 thousand dollars. Nationally the average expenses per farm last year were just over 182 thousand dollars.

The fair season continues this week with the Wisconsin Valley Fair in Wausau, the Adams County fair and the Wisconsin State Fair all going on this weekend.

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