Ag chat with Bob Bosold - August 25th

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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) -- If this year's corn crop isn't the biggest ever in this country, it'll be close to the biggest. That's the determination of crop scouts who have spent this week checking the crops on the annual Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. Scouts who walked fields in eastern corn belt states like Illinois figure the crop there will average 193 and a half bushels per acre. That's 18 and a half bushels more than the size of last year's crop in Illinois but less than the 200 bushel per acre average the USDA is projecting for the state. Crop scouts say they don't think this year's crop in Illinois will be as big as their 2014 corn crop. Scouts walking the western leg through Iowa figure the corn crop there will average just under 192 bushels an acre-up 15% from the size of last year's Iowa crop. Today the scouts will finish walking fields in Iowa and southern Minnesota before they all meet tonight in Rochester to put together their final estimates.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and his staff at USDA are telling the media they are already making good progress in writing new rules for the nationwide mandatory labeling of foods containing Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. But he added he's not sure how far his staff will get on that project before they leave office. Vilsack said his main mission in writing the rules is to set up a very strong foundation and framework for the labeling process. President Obama signed that GMO labeling law on July 29th.
U.S. egg production has rebounded from the bird flu epidemic. Last month the hens layed 8 and a half billion eggs-up 9% from last July as the number of laying was up 7% to 358 million. Iowa, the top egg producing state, saw their July production jump to almost 1.25 billion eggs in July-up from 775 million a year ago. But in Wisconsin, our July egg output was down 2% from June to 131 million but it is up 24% from last July. Wisconsin currently ranks 19th in U.S. egg production.
The Minnesota dairy industry has selected its 63rd Princess Kay of the Milky Way, their equivalent of our Alice in Dairyland. She is 19 year old Haley Hinrichs of Goodhue and a student at Iowa State University. But her first day on the job, today at opening day of the Minnesota State Fair, could leave her with a chilly feeling toward her new duties. She will spend most of the day sitting in a rotating cooler having her likeness sculpted in a 90 pound block of butter.