Ag Chat with Bob Bosold -June 18
Another iconic farm program in Wisconsin is feeling the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Officials at the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agriculture and Life Sciences now say the Farm and Industry Short Course will not be on campus this year but instead will be done on line. Short Course leaders say they will offer 2 core courses during each of the programs 2 terms. During the fall term, which begins in late October, the program will offer Business Principles in Agricultural Management and Introduction to Soils. In the spring, students can take The Business of Agriculture and Agribusiness Feasibility Planning. That program has been held on the Madison campus for over 100 years.
Farmers are spending as much time at their computers as they are in their tractors trying to get government checks to help them get through the Coronavirus pandemic. The latest numbers from the USDA show over 7,700 dairy farmers around the country have already gotten some money from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. Wisconsin has had over 1,700 dairy farmers apply and so they've gotten almost $80 million from the program-an average of almost $46,000 per dairy. California has gotten a little over $44 million, but the average dairy there is getting over $130,000.
It won't be long and it'll be tie to head for Door County to pick this year's tart cherry crop. And growers are hoping it'll be bigger than last year. In 2019 the crop was down 17%, producing just over 9 million pounds. And that's with 100 more acres of trees. The poor weather took yields down to 5,700 pounds an acre-about 1,500 pounds less than last year. Michigan is far and away the leader in tart cherry production with Wisconsin a distant 4th.
There will be some June Dairy Month activities as we get into Father's Day weekend. Today, from 4 to 6 pm at Chapman Park in Stanley, the Stanley-Boyd FFA is having a Dairy to Go Event. The first 200 needy families going though the line will receive a gallon of milk, a pound of butter and 2 pounds of LaGranders Hillside Dairy cheese. On Sunday Pepin County will host a drive thru dairy breakfast at 2 locations-Eau Galle Cheese and Komro Sales just outside Durand. That will start at 7:30 and every car will get a bag with enough food to feed 4 people.