ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) -- Our lead story might have shoppers who have bought groceries lately and been told they could only buy 2 gallons of milk scratching their heads. That's because farmers in parts of Wisconsin, mainly in southeast and eastern Wisconsin, have been asked by their dairy cooperatives or other dairy plants to start dumping their milk on the farm. The Coronavirus has upset dairy marketing channels so much that food service demand has almost dried up. Reports we have received indicate about 115 loads were disposed of in on farm manure lagoons that will eventually be spread on the land as fertilizer. The first milk has been from Dairy Farmers of America members but other dairy cooperatives are expected to ask some of their larger producers to also dump their milk soon and keep doing it for at least the next week or two. The farmers are being compensated for their lost milk.
Ah! The good old days. The latest report from USDA on all milk prices shows Wisconsin's February all milk price was $19.10 a hundred-30 cents lower than January but $2.80 higher than a year ago. That put state dairy farmers' prices 20 cents higher than the national all milk price of $18.90. All 24 of the major milk producing states had a lower price when compared to January but our 30 cent drop was less than any of those other states. Florida saw the biggest price drop in February of $1.70. Iowa had the best February milk price of $19.90 while New Mexico had the lowest pay price of just $17.00.
Prices for other commodities produced in the state were mixed in February. Corn averaged $3.66 a bushel-the same as January and 20 cents more than a year ago. Soybeans brought $8.45-down 18 cents from January and 3 cents below last February's price. Oats were a little better, averaging $3.15 a bushel which was 18 cents more than in January and 13 cents more than last February. Hay prices were also mostly lower in February. Alfalfa averaged $184 a ton which was down $7 from January and $17 less than last February. Other types of hay brought $145 a ton in February-up a dollar from January but $34 a ton less than last February.