ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- The biofuels industry is going to have to wait a little longer for that big announcement on small refinery waivers and waived gallons caused by those waivers. President Trump said he would have a decision by the end of this week but now he says that announcement will come in the next 2 weeks. Those waivers now total 86 with almost 3 billion gallons of ethanol and biofuels lost because those refineries aren't obligated to blend them into the gasoline supply. The biofuels industry wants the president to increase the 2020 blending requirements to make up for those lost gallons.
The state legislature has gone along with state Agriculture Secretary Brad Pfaff's request for more funding for mental health counseling for Wisconsin farmers. This week the Joint Finance Committee approved $200,000 for the program. The Wisconsin Farm Center, a division of DATCP, will handle those funds.
Cheese production across the country and across Wisconsin seems to be in kind of a holding pattern. Nationally cheese output in July was just over 1 billion pounds-not much change from either last July or this past June. In Wisconsin, July production was just over 282 million pounds-down slightly from a year ago but almost 2% more than in June. The only major cheese variety produced in the state that showed any increase was American which increased by about 1% from June to July. California continues to be the second largest cheese producer with just over 210 million pounds in July. Idaho now ranks third in cheese production with New Mexico 4th.
The annual Chippewa Valley Farm-City Day observance kicks off today at the Denmark Dairy just outside Colfax. The event is put on every year by the Eau Claire, Chippewa and Dunn County Extension offices. It's an opportunity for visitors to tour a modern farm to see how modern operations are run. Today the Kragness family will welcome hundreds of third and fourth graders from the 3 counties for an educational and fun outing while Saturday's events are free and open to the public from 10 until 2. The Denmark Dairy is south of Colfax on highway B.