Ag Chat with Scott Schultz- December 3

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) -- Those 2 snow storms that moved across the country last week didn't help farmers who are trying to finish up the fall harvest. According to this week's Crop Progress Report, the corn harvest only advanced 5% to 89% finished. Usually by Thanksgiving, 98% of the corn has been combined. Only the 2009 harvest when just 79% of the corn was off by now has been slower than this year in the past couple of decades. North Dakota farmers are the furthest behind with only 36% of their corn off. The soybean harvest is getting close to finished as 96% of the beans are now in the bin-usually by now 99% of the beans are off. Again the upper Midwest is the furthest behind.

Photo courtesy MGN

In Wisconsin, just 66% of the corn is off the fields-well behind both last year and our 5 year average of over 90% harvested by now. The North central part of the state is the furthest behind with only 42% of the corn combined. State farmers have taken 86% of their soybeans-well behind our normal progress of 99% harvested. Farmers in East central and North eastern parts of the state are only about three quarters finished with their soybeans.

New government figures show net farm income this year will be 92 and a half billion dollars-up just over 8 billion dollars from 2018. That's also up about 4 and a half billion from their August forecast. The breakdown shows net cash farm income will reach 119 billion dollars-up about 15% from last year. A major reason for the increase is a jump in cash receipts for all commodities of a little more than $2 billion. Those figures are higher than expected because of higher government payments to farmers through the market facilitation Program brought about by the tariffs that cost farmers markets around the world. Those checks totaled $22.4 billion.

The European Union is hoping their latest action will move President Trump to take some action on tariffs he has put on European steel and aluminum. Last week the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to give U.S. beef a bigger share of their import quotas for 2020. Parliament members said they wanted to send a message to Washington that they want to de-escalate trade tensions and they're hoping this vote would result in similar action on the other side of the Atlantic.