Ag Chat with Bob Bosold - September 10

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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- The Class 3 milk price continues to improve. The official August price came out at $17.60 a hundred-up a nickel from July but $2.65 more than last August. And it's the highest price since December of 2014. For the first 8 months of this year, the Class 3 average is $15.83, compared to $14.36 for the same period last year.

But the condition of the corn crop around the country is going the other direction. This week the Crop Progress report shows corn has dropped 3% in the good to excellent category-falling to 55%. That's also 13% worse than the crop's rating at this time last year and the lowest ratings since 2013. The corn is Indiana and Ohio is rated just 33% good to excellent with Illinois at 38%. The best corn is in Nebraska and Tennessee with corn in both states rated over 70% good to excellent. Soybeans held steady this week with 55% of the crop rated good to excellent-but, like corn, the worst rating for this time of year since 2013.

In Wisconsin, the corn is rated 67% good to excellent-up 1 percent from last week. But the crop still needs time before the first frost as 94% of the crop has silked, 72% is in the dough stage, 31% has dented 5% has already been taken as corn silage. Soybeans are rated 70% good to excellent this week, the same as a week ago with 94% of the plants blooming, 85% setting pods and 13% of the plants changing color. This week's report also shows state farmers have put up 88% of their third hay crop, 30% of their 4th and planted 8% of their winter wheat-just slightly ahead of the 5 year average. Topsoil moisture this week is rated 92% adequate to surplus and 8% short with Southeast parts of the state being the driest.

Congratulations to the senior livestock judging team from marathon County. Earlier this summer they won the State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest held at the UW Stock Pavilion in Madison. Team members are Kailen Smerchek, Malorie Schmoll, Stephanie Witberler, and Hunter Falkowski and the coach is Dan Smerchek. Kailen Smercheck was the top individual judge as the Marathon County team won both the reasons and the beef categories at the contest. Marathon County will now move on to national competition later this fall. Also from this area, the Dunn County team took 5th place at that competition.