Ag Chat with Scott Schultz - June 15

Published: Jun. 15, 2020 at 7:43 AM CDT
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Today is the beginning of the sign-up period for farmers to receive Wisconsin's direct relief. Farmers may receive individual payments from $1,000 to $3,500 of state coronavirus-pandemic relief aid through the state Department of Revenue; the sign-up period is today through June 29, through the state Department of Revenue. Farmers with 2019 gross annual incomes of $35,000 to $5 million are eligible. Enrollment is recommended through the Department of Revenue's Web site, Farmers who can't apply online should call the Department of Revenue at 608-266-2772. Department of Revenue officials recommend that farmers enroll for the aid as early as possible during the sign-up period, so there is enough time to make any needed corrections or appeals before the June 29 deadline.

The deadline for two other farm programs - the federal Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loos Coverage Programs for 2020 - also is nearing. Farmers have until June 30 to work with their local federal Farm Service Agency offices to sign a 2020 enrollment contract for one of the programs. U.S. Department of Agriculture officials said more than 1.4 million ARC/PLC contracts have been signed for 2020; that's 89 percent of the agency's expected enrollment.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency's order to allow farmers to use remaining stocks of the soon-to-be-banned herbicide Dicamba has received environmental push-back from the plaintiffs whose lawsuit led to the courts ordering a halt in the herbicide use. But U.S. agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue said the EPA's order has precedent, and he said it's an important time for farmers to have the chemical for use. Perdue said, "At a time when the security of the food supply chain is paramount, the Center for Biological Diversity and its allies seek to cripple American farmers and further limit their ability to feed, fuel, and clothe this nation and the world. The Ninth Circuit should not allow plaintiffs' hostility against the American farmer to cloud the fact that the EPA's actions follow both legal precedent and common sense." The plaintiffs asked the appeals court to issue an emergency order to halt Dicamba's use, and to hold the EPA in contempt of courts' decisions to ban the product.

Add the Illinois State Fairs to the list of Upper Midwest State Fairs to be cancelled. Illinois Gov. JD Pritzker late last week issued an executive order to cancel this year's state fairs at Sprinfield and Du Qion because of the coronavirus pandemic. State fairs in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa already had been cancelled.

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