Ag Chat with Scott Schultz - April 8

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- The boards of directors for the Marshfield-based ProVision Partners and Federation Cooperative of Black River Falls announced they are exploring a potential merger agreement. The co-ops said in a press release that board members with both groups unanimously voted to sign a letter of intent to consider the merger.

The Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0 will hold a teleconference meeting on Monday, April 15, 2019 at 2 p.m. to approve minutes, discuss and vote on the results of the priority survey, and identify next steps. The teleconference will be based at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in Madison. Members of the public are welcome to make in-person comments at all Dairy Task Force 2.0 meetings or submit written comments at any time. At the last full meeting of the Dairy Task Force 2.0 in March, members approved 49 recommendations, bringing the total number of recommendations passed by the group to 51. These recommendations were generated by the Task Force members while working in nine sub-committees over the past six months.

The next deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program applications to be considered for funding in fiscal year 2019 is May 10, 2019. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service plans to invest up to $700 million for new enrollments and contract extensions in fiscal year 2019. The 2018 Farm Bill made several changes to that conservation program, which is designed to help agricultural producers with conservation activities on their farms.

Wisconsin agricultural producers who lost property due to recent natural disasters may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture physical loss loans. The federal Farm Service Agency is offering low-interest loans to agricultural producers in Buffalo, Calumet, Chippewa, Clark, Columbia, Dane, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, Langlade, Lincoln, Manitowoc, Marathon, Marinette, Oconto, Oneida, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, St. Croix, Sheboygan, Taylor and Trempealeau counties, the primary damaged area, who incurred losses caused by multiple winter storms with blizzard conditions, excessive snow, high winds, and extreme cold that occurred between Jan. 27 through March 2. Approval is limited to applicants who suffered severe physical losses only, including the loss of buildings and livestock. Applications are due Nov. 25.