Ag Chat with Scott Schultz - February 11

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- Cooler-than-average summer weather but a warmer spring kept the 2018 corn harvest 1 percent below last year's record harvest. The nation's soybean yield was up 5 percent compared with 2017, with the planted area down 1 percent from the record 2017 acreage, according to the Crop Production 2018 Summary released Friday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service.
U.S. corn growers produced 14.4 billion bushels, down 1 percent from 2017. The corn yield in the U.S. is estimated at 176.4 bushels per acre, 0.2 bushel below the 2017 record yield of 176.6 bushels per acre. The area harvested, at 81.7 million acres, is down 1 percent from 2017. The 2018 corn objective yield data indicate the highest number of ears per acre on record for the combined 10 objective yield states -- Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Soybean production for 2018 totaled a record 4.54 billion bushels, up 3 percent compared with 2017. With record high yields in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, New York, and Ohio, the average soybean yield is estimated at 51.6 bushels per acre, 2.3 bushels more than in 2017, but 0.3 bushel less than the record yield in 2016.

There were some local award recipients during the weekend's state FFA Alumni convention in Stevens Point. Jordan Donnerbauer from Stanley-Boyd was named the Outstanding Agriculture Educator. Chapter support grants were awarded to Baldwin-Woodville and Granton. Greenwood received the Dr. V.O. Martinson Award, presented to the FFA Alumni with the greatest increase in annual membership percentage. The Granton FFA Alumni received the Ann Martinson Award, presented to the chapter with the greatest increase in lifetime membership.

A Wausau dentist who's part of a Monroe County cranberry cooperative will lead the state Department of Natural Resources Board. Frederick Prehn, who also has served on the Wiwsconsin Cranberry Board, was elected to chair the seven-member citizens' DNR Board. He was appointed to the DNR Board in 2015. Prehn will replace Shawano realtor Terry Hilgenberg as the board's chairman. Hilgenberg will serve on the board through 2023. Gregory Kazmierski of Pewaukee was elected vice chairman and July Anderson of Racine County was re-elected as secretary.

Wisconsin will be well represented in the honey industry, as Hannah Sjorstrom of Maiden Rock has been crowned as this year's American honey queen. The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire nursing student, who's been serving as the Wisconsin honey queen, received the honor during the recent American Beekeeping Federation convention in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In her new role, Sjorstrom will promote honey and honey products throughout the United States. Kim Keester of Nekoosa, who served as the American honey queen in 2016, was the last Wisconsin woman to fill the national role.