Ag Chat with Kristin Smith - Nov. 28

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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) -- Cheesemakers in Wisconsin know how to do something right, and that's make award winning cheese. Wisconsin cheesemakers were among the top winners representing the United States during the 30th Annual World Cheese Awards held in London a little over a week ago. Carr Valley Cheese Company led all Wisconsin cheesemakers winning 12 awards followed by Sartori Cheese and Emmi Roth with eight a piece, The Artisan Cheese Exchange with four, Saxon Cheese LLC with two, and Saputo Cheese USA and Springside Cheese with one each. 230 judges were brought together from all over the world to taste, nose and grade all 3,001 cheeses in a single day, giving Bronze, Silver, Gold and Super Gold awards to winning cheeses. Earning the title of Best American Cheese was Gold Hill Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy in Colorado.

And according to this week's final crop progress report of the season, around the U.S. the USDA estimated winter wheat conditions were at 50 percent in good to excellent as of Sunday, down 2 percentage points from the previous week, but was estimated that 92 percent of the crop was emerged which was the same as both a year ago and the five-year average. The final report also showed that the U.S. soybean harvest was complete for the year and farmers only have about 5 percent left out in the fields. And for corn, 95 percent was harvested as of Sunday which is 3 percentage points below last year and the five year average.

In Wisconsin, Corn harvested for grain was at 81 percent complete, which was 11 days behind the average. The soybean harvest was reported at 96 percent complete, which was 10 days behind the average. And winter wheat emerged was reported at 98 percent complete. The winter wheat condition came in at 83 percent good to excellent. The fall tillage in the state was at 68 percent complete about 11 days behind last year. Topsoil moistures were rated 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 89 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus.

October meat and pork production has reached new highs. According to the Wisconsin Ag Connection, commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.64 billion pounds in October, up 5 percent from the 4.43 billion pounds produced last October. Beef production, was at 2.3 billion pounds, 4 percent above the previous year. And pork production totaled 2.32 billion pounds, up 5 percent from last October.

It looks like China is going to be busy. Projects to upgrade or build facilities to load and receive grains along major railways and waterways will be subsidized by the Chinese government, according to a document released by the National Development and Research Commission. Grain facilities that offer storage, processing, trading and quality inspection services will also be subsidized, with the National Development and Research Commission listing specifications for the facilities including that they have more than 100,000 metric tons of storage capacity. The subsidies could be up to 100 million yuan or $15 million.

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