Ag Chat with Kristin Smith - Dec. 18th

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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) -- Over 1,000 Wisconsin families will be enjoying pork this holiday season because of a donation from the Wisconsin Pork Association. Earlier this week, WPA board members began distributing to food banks throughout the state. In total, nearly 2500 pounds of pork will be distributed to families in need throughout the holiday season. WPA coordinated the pork donation and delivery with Natural Food Holdings, which donated the freight cost for delivering the pork. All 2500 pounds of pork arrived at Second Harvest of Southern Wisconsin on Tuesday, and approximately 1600 pounds will be distributed through their mobile food pantry program over the next two weeks. The remainder was delivered to various food pantries throughout the state by WPA board members.

New estimates from the USDA show which counties produced the most winter wheat and oat crops during 2017. Manitowoc County was the largest winter wheat producing county in Wisconsin with 787,000 bushels. Dane and Fon du Lac were second and third with 768 and 668 thousand bushels, respectively. The East Central District was the largest winter wheat producing district in Wisconsin, with 4.42 million bushels produced. Dane County was also the highest yielding county with yields of 83.2 bushels per acre. Portage County had the lowest yield at 42.0 bushels per acre. The largest increase in yield came in Juneau County with an increase of 13.5 bushels per acre. Calumet was the county with the largest drop in yield from the previous year with a decrease of 27.3 bushels per acre.

And in the oats fields, Langlade County was the largest oat-producing county with 677,000 bushels. Grant was the second largest producing county with 349,000 bushels, followed by Iowa with 201,000 bushels. Sheboygan, Kewaunee and Langlade Counties tied for the highest yield in the state with 74.7 bushels per acre. Door County also recorded an average yield over 70.0 bushels per acre with 70.3.

Sanderson Farms Inc., one of the biggest U.S. chicken producers, is blaming the recent player-protest controversy in the National Football League for slower sales of chicken wings. Wing prices had a banner year for much of 2017, but spot prices slumped in each of the last three months and are now 14 percent lower than a year earlier, according to one U.S. government measure. Food sellers have differing views on how much impact player protests during the national anthem at NFL games have had on revenue. While Papa John's International Inc. last month blamed the NFL's handling of the controversy for hammering pizza sales, Wingstop Inc. said it hadn't seen any impact from waning football viewership. Demand for chicken wings usually surges during the Super Bowl. And last year, Americans were projected to eat 1.33 billion during last year's game, according to the National Chicken Council.

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