Ag Chat with Scott Schultz - January 7

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is suspending all of its crop reports until the partial federal government shutdown is over. USDA officials announced Friday that crop reports due Jan. 11 will be suspended because of the lapse in federal funding. The USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service's reports are used by farmers and domestic and foreign traders to set purchases and prices for agricultural commodities. Much of the work on the reports already had been compiled, but USDA officials said more information was needed and analysis needs to be done before the information is released. It's the second time since the federal shutdown of October, 2013, that the USDA has delayed the reports.

The shutdown also is affecting the enrollment deadline for the Market Facilitation Program, which is designed to provide support payments for farmers who've lost income because of trade tariffs levied by President Trump. Producers have until Jan. 15 to enroll in and provide production information for the program, but federal Farm Services Agency personnel have been furloughed because of the shutdown.

A new version of Wisconsin's Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast will debut Feb. 1, offering farmers a much more detailed and localized look at the threat of runoff before they plan to spread manure The runoff forecast, available at, provides maps showing short-term runoff risk for daily application planning, taking into account factors including soil moisture, weather forecast, crop cover, snow cover, and slope. It is updated three times daily by the National Weather Service.

Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0 subcommittee meetings continue today, with the Dairy and Rural Community Vitality subcommittee meeting at 10 a.m. the Wisconsin State Patrol post in Tomah. The task force's Consumer Confidence subcommittee will meet at 10 a.m. tomorrow, also at the State Patrol's Tomah post.