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…

Wisconsin potato growers have until April 1 to nominate three members to the industry’s market order board. Districts 1, 2 and District-at-large are eligible to nominate board members or be nominated.

A Land Stewardship Project workshop on how conventional and organic farmers can use the roller-crimper to build soil health and suppress weeds will be from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Rushford, Minn.

JUNEAU — In 1982, after becoming tired of closing ditches in fields before going through with a combine, Steve Groff decided to experiment with no-till. Over the next few years, he began dabbling with cover crops and in 1995 started collecting research from them in hopes to answer the age-ol…

University of Minnesota Extension and the Southern Minnesota Wine Grower Alliance will host a Vineyard and Winery Management Workshop from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 23, at Chankaska Creek Ranch and Winery in Kasota, Minn.

WISCONSIN DELLS — When UW-Madison Extension cropping systems weed scientist Rodrigo Werle asked a room full of farmers if they were concerned or dealing with waterhemp and/or giant ragweed in their corn and soybean fields, nearly every farmer raised their hand. And Werle wasn’t at all surprised.

The 2019 Alltech Global Feed Survey released in late January estimates that international feed tonnage has increased by 3 percent to 1.103 billion metric tons of feed produced in 2018, exceeding 1 billion metric tons for the third consecutive year.

MENOMONIE — While market analysts are starting 2019 behind the eight ball due to the unavailability of key agricultural reports during the federal government shutdown, Brenda Boetel, commodity marketing specialist at UW-River Falls, offers some insight into the coming year’s crop and livesto…

Through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will begin inspecting produce farms for compliance with federal food safety regulations this year. The inspections are part of the FDA Food Safet…

MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has a long history of conducting surveys for pests; in fact, DATCP has been annually observing crop pest activity through its Pest Survey Program since 1915.

MADISON — UW-Madison crop experts Joe Lauer and Shawn Conley just wrapped up their 2019 Wisconsin Agronomy Update meetings, traveling the state to present information on hybrid and variety performance, share analysis of last year’s growing season and provide updated recommendations for field…

FarmlandFinder, a digital toolset for land sale research, has expanded to 12 states throughout the Midwest and launched a suite of tools to help land professionals with farmland acquisition, valuation and analysis.

GRANTON — Paul Vine said he was anticipating the coming of Christmas for a different reason than most. Vine, who runs Vine’s Christmas Trees with his family, said the hectic tree season comes to an end Dec. 25, but the work continues on a tree farm.