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MADISON — Hemp is a topic Sara Walling admits she could spend hours talking about, referencing her “past life” as a student who obtained her undergraduate degree in plant science. However, Walling didn’t have hours to spend at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Prote…

While children in southern Wisconsin were shocked to wake up on Halloween to a few inches of snow, farmers in the region weren’t particularly stirred as this year’s saga of wet weather continues. Most of the area received between 3 and 7 inches of snow the last week of October, breaking the …

Hemp licensing applications and registrations are available for the 2020 Wisconsin growing season, as of Nov. 1. The deadline for current licensees to renew their registration is March 1, 2020. New licensees can apply at any time during the year.

Growing organic garlic on a fifth-generation family farm was just what the doctor ordered. Well actually, Jeff “Doc” Menn didn’t order his son and daughter-in-law to grow the crop; he encouraged the couple to consider taking on the garlic-raising project, and the couple accepted the challenge.

LANCASTER — Steve Adrian and his son, Adam, have seen success in using cover crops in southwest Wisconsin. A hay shortage in 1978 led Steve to try cover crops for the first time, planting rye to feed his heifers during that time. Now rye is an important component to their farm, serving as ex…

With more potassium than a banana, potatoes are an excellent choice for your dinner plate. Potatoes are high in fiber and packed full of energy to fuel your body and brain throughout the day.

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Aug. 28 that President Donald Trump plans to soften the blow to farmers after his administration allowed some small oil refineries to avoid ethanol requirements.

DARLINGTON — Despite efforts to prohibit marijuana establishments in Lafayette County, including the prohibition of hemp and CBD oil sales, interest in hemp cultivation continues to grow in the county, with about 50 people attending a recent meeting on industrial hemp, geared particularly fo…

As demand for organic grain products soars, newly certified organic grain farmers — or those in the process of transitioning to organic production — struggle to find reliable technical service and support as they navigate this new production system.

Farmers interested in learning how to grow, harvest and market lavender are invited to a Lavender Field Day hosted by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Friday, Aug. 9, at the Rowley Creek Lavender Farm near Baraboo.

ONALASKA — Patrick McHugh has high hopes for hemp, not only for its monetary value as a specialty crop, but also for the value it offers him in his efforts to improve soil health on his family farm.

MADISON — When Valentin Picasso, an assistant professor in UW-Madison’s agronomy department; Julie Olmstead, a program officer at The McKnight Foundation; and Fred Iutzi, president of The Land Institute, were all working in the lab together at Iowa State University many years ago, they often…

Farmers who planted cover crops on prevented plant acres will be permitted to hay, graze or chop those fields earlier than November this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced recently.

VERONA — Ted and Joan Ballweg have traveled the world, sampling foods and searching for the perfect varieties of chili peppers to bring back to what Ted calls his “Pepper Ponderosa,” a 5-acre plot of organic fields, raised beds and greenhouses that house more than 30 varieties of chili peppers.

We are starting to see more estimates released on potential new-crop balance sheets. Given all the issues the corn crop is facing, many analysts have lowered production forecasts and new-crop carryout totals. Most believe new-crop corn carryout will fall between 1 and 1.5 billion bushels at …

OCONOMOWOC — Total U.S. organic sales topped the $50 billion mark in 2018, with organic corn averaging $10 per bushel and organic soybeans averaging $18.50 per bushel. The organic market continues to grow too, with demand outpacing domestic supply, providing opportunities for Wisconsin’s gra…

CHIPPEWA FALLS — The first year of Wisconsin’s industrial hemp pilot program proved a challenge to farmers. This year, more than six times the number of farmers who participated in the inaugural season are hoping to give the crop a try.

The fourth International Kernza Conference will be held July 1-2 at UW-Madison; the first day of the conference will focus on Kernza research updates, presented by industry experts, while the second day will include a tour focused on producer and research plots around the Madison area.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture shocked trade by cutting the national corn yield estimate by a full 10 bushels per acre in the June supply and demand report. This puts the average national yield at 166 bushels per acre. A reduction of 3 million was made to planted acres as well. This comb…

Farmers have spent this spring dodging rain and getting in fields as conditions allowed, planting, tilling and spreading manure as quickly as possible, in many cases working around wet spots in fields.

We are starting to hear some questions in the market that may bring a change in attitude. We have seen a considerable amount of interest on production recently, but not much on demand. Demand has been good on U.S. grains and soybeans but appears to be falling short of projections. As a resul…

We are now at a point where planting delays and adverse weather will play a more important role in crop production. The main factor being considered is acreage, as we are now at the stage where prevent-plant insurance may be used in much of the Corn Belt. This insurance allows farmers to col…

With seemingly unending low grain prices and increasing uncertainty concerning international trade, farmers are seeking alternative crops and production strategies that allow for higher margins and more stable prices. To showcase options to farmers, the Organic Grain Resource and Information…

The White House has announced it will again be distributing subsidy payments to offset economic losses from the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China. It has been reported that the White House has proposed payments of $2 per bushel on soybeans, 63 cents per bushel on wheat, and 4 …

When it comes to global corn demand, one factor is being overlooked. Over the past two years, world corn reserves have tightened 44 million metric tons. This is from a combination of elevated demand and production losses, mainly from drought in South America. Even with higher production bein…

We are now approaching the stage where the planting pace on corn becomes more of a market topic. History shows that if the U.S. corn crop is 70 percent planted by the third week of May, very few if any acres shift to alternative crops. At the same time, if the U.S. corn crop is more than 70 …

There is an old market adage that “low prices cure low prices.” While it is premature to say that low prices have cured our depressed markets, there are signs that they are in fact doing their job. Farmers in South America are already starting to make plans for next year’s acres, and low fut…

Crop scouting skills are essential for any farming operation to maximize crop production and economic returns. The University of Minnesota Extension 4-H program will kick off a new crop scouting event for youth this summer.

We are starting to see a division take place in the U.S. cash grain market. Exporters are not pushing for deliveries right now as global demand for our offerings has been less than stellar in recent weeks. Basis values, the difference between commodity futures and cash bids, have weakened as…

ARGYLE — No-till farmer and soil health leader Barry Fisher visited southwest Wisconsin recently, speaking to farmers about the principles of soil health and how better understanding the soil’s natural functions can help them implement key management strategies to build soil health on their …

The Minnesota-based Land Stewardship Project is urging interested producers to submit their initial applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program before the May 10 deadline to ensure that they are considered for enrollment in 2019.

Now a few weeks into spring, farmers are starting to take stock of their alfalfa stands and, in some cases, they’re concerned their stands didn’t survive a winter that saw low snow cover and a polar vortex early followed by heavy snow late.

Wisconsin tart cherry and ginseng growers may now nominate candidates for two board member positions on the Wisconsin Cherry Board and two board member positions on the Wisconsin Ginseng Board.

High interest among hemp growers suggests that Wisconsin is ready to supply the developing market, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection officials on March 13 told agricultural marketing representatives in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The new farm bill includes a provision to allow industrial hemp production in the U.S. While the crop may be an option for farmers looking to diversify their system, there’s a lot of information to gather and consider before major decisions are made.

Interest in industrial hemp in Wisconsin continues to grow as the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection recently released application numbers for 2019. Nearly 2,100 individuals and businesses applied to grow or process hemp in Wisconsin’s second year of its industrial hemp…