Ag Chat with Bob Bosold- May 28
We're still waiting for the final decision on the fate of this year's Wisconsin State Fair. On Tuesday the State fair Board of Directors voted unanimously to give Fair Board chairman, John Yingling, the power to cancel the fair and other events scheduled at State Fair park. Board members said they took that action so a final decision can be made easier by the end of this month. The state fair has only been cancelled 5 times since the first state fair was held in Janesville in 1851. The fair has been at its current site in West Allis since 1892. Last year over 1 million people went to the fair.
Farmers began signing up on Tuesday for some of the $16 billion in direct payments authorized by the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. That sign-up will continue through August 28th with producers getting 80% of the total payment immediately on approval of their application with the remaining 20% coming at a later date. Sign-up takes place through county Farm Service Agency offices either by phone or on line since those offices are closed to visitors. Payments cover producers of both crops and livestock. Payments to corn growers will be paid at the rate of 32 cents a bushel, soybeans at 45 cents and oats at 15 cents. Alfalfa and other forages are not included in the program.
One of the casualties of the Coronavirus pandemic was the Agricultural Technology Contest hosted each April for high school agricultural students from Wisconsin and Minnesota by the UW-River Falls. But not all is lost. From yesterday through this Saturday students are taking part in an online judging competition put together by the River falls ag faculty. Judging categories include Ag Communications, Livestock, Farm Business Management, Nursery and Landscape and more. We hope to have some results very soon.
Some news reports are talking about food shortages for some products-but eggs aren't on that list. In April, American hens laid just over 7.9 billion eggs and that was down 3% from a year ago. The total number of hens on the job was just over 390 million, meaning each hen laid an average of 232 eggs for the month. Iowa continues to lead the nation in egg production by a wide margin as their hens laid over 1.27 billion eggs last month. Wisconsin hens laid over 191 million eggs in April-up 9% from a year ago. We rank 14th in total egg production.