Ag Chat with Scott Schultz - December 3

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- The price paid to Wisconsin dairy farmers averaged $17.60 per hundredweight in October, which is higher than the all-milk price state farmers received during September, but lower than they received during October of 2017. The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Friday that the price was 20 cents more than the September price, but 90 cents less than the October 2017 price. Nationally, the October all-milk price was $17.40 per hundredweight, 70 cents higher than the September price. Price-increases in the nation's top 23 milk-producing states ranged from 10 cents in Idaho to $1.70 in Virginia. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange's 40-pound block-cheese price ended November at $1.36 per pound and the barrel-cheese price ended the month at $1.31 per pound; the CME ending November butter price was $2.22¼ per pound.

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On the grain side, Wisconsin farmers received $3.38 per bushel for corn in October. That's up 9 cents compared with the September price and a 12-cent increase compared with the October price in 2017. The October soybean price didn't fare as well, according to the statistics service, averaging $8.70 per bushel - a 22-cent-per bushel compared with the September price and 14 cents per bushel less than farmers received in October of 2017. State hay prices averaged $155 per ton in October, a $10 increase compared with September and $44 more than the price in October of 2017.

Reaction about Friday's signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement rolled in through the weekend. The agreement, which would revise the North American Free Trade Agreement, was signed by the three nations' leaders Friday during the G-20 summit Argentina. U.S. agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue said the agreement, which still has to be ratified by Congress, increases U.S. farmers' access to Mexican and Canadian markets. Among its provisions, is elimination of Canada's Class 6 and Class 7 milk-pricing systems, which Perdue said gives more access to U.S. dairy exports to Canada. U.S. House Agriculture Committee chairman Michael Conaway, a Texas Democrat, said, "there are several important wins for our producers in this deal, and I look forward to Congress swiftly approving the agreement in the new year." Wisconsin Democratic senator Tammy Baldwin, who opposed the original North American Free Trade Agreement, said there still is more work to be done on the deal in Congress, and that she'll only support the agreement if it's made better for Wisconsin farmers, manufacturers and workers.