Ag Chat with Scott Schultz - April 3

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- About 100 dairy farmers gathered Tuesday to discuss potential structural changes and how to move forward with dairy pricing. The national program, at 29 Pines north of Eau Claire, was designed by the National Farmers Union, Wisconsin Farmers Union and other state Farmers Union organizations, along with Holstein USA. The sessions will continue with an upcoming program in Platteville, and then move to other areas of the nation.

With the agricultural industry dependent on adequate roads, more than 60 percent of Wisconsinites rate Wisconsin's roads as no better than fair. That's according to new polling released by AAA. Forty-four percent of respondents rated the state's roads as fair, while 18 percent said the roads are poor. Funding work on the transportation is another question, though, with that same 62 percent saying funding isn't adequate to upgrade the roads. As a solution, 25 percent of the survey respondents said they favor a gas-tax increase, 19 percent favor creating toll-roads, 18 percent say registration and license fees could be increased, and 15 percent said a vehicle-mileage tax could be assessed.

A new study released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture says greenhouse gas emissions from corn-based ethanol are about 39 percent less than gasoline. The study also says greenhouse gases are even lower - about 43 percent less than gasoline -- when ethanol is refined at natural gas-powered refineries. U.S. agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue said the findings provide evidence that biofuels reduce greenhouse gases even more than thought, and that farmers and ethanol plants are becoming more efficient and effective.

April is being recognized as Winning on Reducing Food Waste Month. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, and Food and Drug Administration are calling for collaborations between government agencies and public and private organizations to call attention to reducing food waste. Federal officials say nearly 40 percent of food produced in the U.S. goes uneaten through loss or waste.