Ag Chat with Scott Schultz - December 5

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is accepting applications for the 2019 Specialty Crop Block Grant program. Grants are awarded to projects intended to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop industries through research, education or market development. Specialty crops include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, nursery crops, herbs and more. Non-profits, producer organizations, government agencies, universities and other agricultural organizations are encouraged to apply. Information and applications are available by contacting the department. Typical projects are awarded between $10,000 and $100,000.

Cotton Crop, Photo Date: Feb. 8, 2014 / Photo: Pixabay / (MGN)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a letter to state and tribal co-regulators that encourages increased engagement and a reinvigoration of state, tribal and federal efforts to reduce excess nutrients in waterways, with a focus on market-based and other collaborative approaches Bill Northey, undersecretary for the USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation mission area, said, “Voluntary conservation works. Across the country, farmers are leading the way toward improved water quality by taking steps to decrease sedimentation and nutrient runoff from agricultural lands. But we know more can be done, and continue to look for partners to pursue innovative, market-based, and voluntary approaches that lead to cleaner water and a healthier agricultural sector.”

A new Energy Information Administration study says U.S. petroleum refineries would have no problem meeting a requirement to produce 95-octane fuel standard beginning in 2022, and assumes refiners would not use more ethanol beyond current levels to meet such a standard. The study, conducted by an oil-industry consulting firm, was done to examine a scenario in which all new vehicles would have to use 95-octane fuel.

Leaders of the Cooperatives Working Together dairy program have announced it has accepted 33 offers of export contracts to sell 4.028 million pounds of Cheddar, Gouda and Monterey Jack cheese, 1.340 million pounds of butter, and 705,479 pounds of whole milk powder. The products will be delivered December through May. The year-to-date CWT-assisted member cooperative sales have reached 66.412 million pounds of American-type cheeses, 15.859 million pounds of butter and 38.671 million pounds of whole milk powder. The sales are the equivalent on a milkfat basis to 1.252 billion pounds of milk.