Steve Okonek, UW-Extension agricultural educator in Trempealeau County, said corn planting typically begins in late April. But only a few acres have been planted in his county. Many farmers are still hauling manure or spreading fertilizer as they prepare their fields.
UW-Extension Clark County Agricultural Educator Richard Halopka said that, like the rest of the state, Clark County’s dairy farm numbers are down, but he credited the organizing committees with pulling together hosts for the breakfasts.
Another advantage of seeds is that there is more variety, said Vijai Pandian, horticulture extension educator for the University of Wisconsin Extension offices in Milwaukee, Kenosha and Racine Counties.
These are tough times for local farmers, especially dairy farmers, as milk prices have continued to be low. And that brings a lot of stress on farmers’ finances, their families and their mental state, leading many to consider getting out of farming altogether, says Stephanie Plaster, an agriculture educator with the Ozaukee County University of Wisconsin Extension office.
Gov. Tony Evers launched this year’s initiative, which unites the DNR and other water resource organizations, nationwide, in a common message, focusing on ways water consumers can take personal responsibility for caring for their tap water and protecting it at its source, the release stated.
In Rock County, that source is groundwater, said UW-Stevens Point and Madison-based UW-Extension Groundwater Education Specialist Kevin Masarik.
A major factor in those distressed prices is the cost of production, that’s according to Simon Jette Nantel a farm management specialist at the UW-Extension. “As soon as there is new technology and new knowledge, that allows producers to start lowering their costs, then you can expect the market price to come down,” Jette Nantel said.
University of Wisconsin extension crop specialist Richard Halopka tells Brownfield wet weather and a harsh winter has growers concerned about this year’s forage crop as supplies dwindle and hay remains expensive to buy.
“The alfalfa is a bit of a concern, just because there’s quite a bit of winter kill, not throughout the entire county, but you see some areas where there’s some patches of winter kill,” explained University of Wisconsin-Extension Calumet County agriculture educator Amber O’Brien.
Caitlin Richardson, FoodWise coordinator for the University of Wisconsin-Extension in Columbia, Dodge and Sauk counties, said one overlooked barrier in Portage is the location of all three of the community’s large grocery markets (Aldi, Festival Foods and Walmart) on one end of the city — the north end. That makes it a challenge for people who do not have easy or reliable transportation to shop at a store that offers a vast selection of fresh produce.