Agriculture Archives for 2018-04

Farmers still dealing with after effects of Winter Storm Evelyn as Governor Walker looks for help

By Tim Kowols       

Even with the snow mostly gone, farmers are still trying to dig themselves out from the aftermath of Winter Storm Evelyn. According to the USA Today Network, Governor Scott Walker plans on asking for federal disaster assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture for damaged farms. While some farms have obvious damage like collapsed barns, others like Haberli Farms in Egg Harbor have less notable but equally disastrous issues. Melting snow has flooded their feed gutter system, causing cows to eat less food and develop mastitis. Owner Joe Haberli says with commodity prices where they are, any assistance would be helpful.

 



 

Farmers are encouraged to keep stock of the damage caused by the winter storm and contact their U.S. Farm Services Agency representative to see what programs may be available.

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Wintry weather setting farmer's planting schedule behind

By Paul Schmitt    

Now is typically the time of year area farmers are close to planting the majority of their crops. Rich Olson of Olson Family Farm and a member of the DoorCountyDailyNews.com Ag Advisory Board says the fields are still several weeks away from getting the crops planted.



 

Olson says farmers like to wait until the ground temperature reaches 50 degrees before planting soybeans and corn. He adds that the wet soil will take a lot longer to warm up than if it was dry soil.

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Heavy snow causing roof collapses in area

By Paul Schmitt    

The recent record snowfall in Door and Kewaunee County has taken a toll on some agricultural structures and it may not be done yet.  Ebert Enterprises west of Algoma suffered multiple barn roof collapses starting last Sunday.  Owner Randy Ebert says fortunately no livestock or employees were injured but fears other facilities may face a similar fate.



 

Ebert acknowledged his entire staff of 50 dedicated employees that showed up and helped after Sunday's roof collapse.  He said thankfully only buildings that were affected and that the rest will take care of itself concerning insurance and costly repairs.

(photos compliments of Ebert Enterprises Facebook)

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Peninsula Pride Farms hopes to continue to build on learning experiences

By Tim Kowols      

Peninsula Pride Farms president Don Niles knows the pressure is on to put what they have learned into use in its third year of existence. Some members of the farmer-led initiative have joined groups led by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and UW Discovery Farms to make their operations into outdoor science labs to see which practices can yield the best results for soil and water conservation. Niles says with the data they have been accumulating, farmers have a much better idea of what works and what still needs to be improved.

 



 

Peninsula Pride Farms is planning a spring field day at Heim's Hillcrest Dairy in Algoma later this month to discuss new manure injection techniques.

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New dairy safety net program still leaving farmers leery

By Tim Kowols     

Some farmers are still hesitant about buying into a government program designed to combat plunging milk prices and rising feed costs. The United States Department of Agriculture lowered its all-milk forecast to $15.60 to $16.10 per hundredweight, which is off over three dollars from a year ago. According to Farm Forum, the new Margin Protection Program hopes to calculate the difference between milk and feed costs more frequently, increase the threshold for the Tier one payment schedule, and reduce payments for some farmers in certain categories. Wallace Dairy LLC owner Paul Wallace Jr. says he is a little skeptical of the revamped program after participating in it for two years before ditching it last year due to a lack of results.

 



 

Wallace says he will try the Margin Protection Program again but at the minimum amount. He estimates milk prices need to be in the $18 to $20 range before he could make a comfortable profit. Farmers can enroll in the Margin Protection Program until June 1.

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Pinchart enjoying his time as state FFA vice president

By Tim Kowols     

Luxemburg-Casco High School alum Sam Pinchart has turned his love of agriculture into a full-time job over the last year as the Section 9 vice-president of the state's Future Farmers of America organization. Pinchart has spent a lot of time setting up for FFA competitions and conferences for the state and the section's 24 chapters spanning Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Calumet, Outagamie, Manitowoc, and Sheboygan counties. Pinchart says he has been able to apply a lot of what he learned as a member of the Luxemburg-Casco FFA to his work at the state level.

 



 

Pinchart's term ends at the state FFA conference in June, from which he will begin his path towards being an agriculture teacher as a student at South Dakota State University.

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Farmers cautiously optimistic about crop prices

By Tim Kowols      

A report from the United States Department of Agriculture last week is driving crop prices skyward, but farmers are still being urged to be cautions. The USDA reported approximately one million acres less of corn and soybeans are being planned for spring plantings this year, a factor Bloomberg suggested is because grain gluts and potential Chinese tariffs. It did give corn and soybean future prices a boost, which is a welcome sight for farmers dealing with lower prices across commodities. Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture Educator Aerica Bjurstrom still says farmers should try to keep their inputs low.

 



 

Unlike corn and soybeans, wheat planted for 2018 is up three percent in total over last year at 47.3 million acres, but it still represents the second lowest on record since 1919.

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