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The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest “Cattle on Feed” report, released March 20, shows the number of animals on feed to be essentially unchanged from 2019. The report provides monthly estimates of the number of cattle being fed for slaughter. For the report USDA surveys feedlots of 1,000 head or more; that represents 85 percent of all fed cattle. Cattle feeders provide data on inventory, placements, marketings and other disappearance.

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I knew the day was coming. Every time I’d go through the chest freezer it took longer to find a straggler. Trying to find one I’d be forced to shift out of the way the freezer bags of shredded zucchini and freezer-burned broccoli from our former farm garden.

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We raise and butcher our own chickens. We cut some of the chickens into pieces, but mostly we freeze them whole. That means for most recipes I start with a whole chicken. For our size family it makes two meals.

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Days of negotiations between the Trump administration and Congress — and fierce lobbying by industries eager for assistance dealing with the coronavirus outbreak — has yielded a rescue package worth more than $2 trillion in spending and tax breaks.

Editor's note: This article is part of a series featuring members of the Soil Sisters, an official program of Renewing the Countryside. The community of women farmers advocate for family farming and locally produced food.

Two things are for certain at every meeting about cover crops. First, researchers and experts will show the benefits of cover crops and no-tilling to prevent erosion and improve soil health. And then farmers will ask about the economics of the practice in the short- and long-term.

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HATLEY, Wis. – Cleanliness, milker training, frac-sand quality, milking-equipment maintenance and cow comfort. They’re five keys to overall success with milk quality, says David “Mike” Fischer of Fischer-Clark Dairy Farm. He and his family recently earned a platinum award in dairy quality from the National Mastitis Council.

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MADISON, Wis. – An order from Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, made March 24, will shut nonessential businesses for a month. The order goes into effect at 8 a.m. March 25 and continue through 8 a.m. April 24, shuttering many businesses across the state. Exempt from the order are farms, farm businesses and agricultural supply-chain businesses.

The 2020 WPS Farm Show was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis, but Agri-View is working to bring its information to producers and farm businesses alike. We’re creating a special publication that will include information from equipment businesses, highlights of new equipment available, new technology and much more. Our “Virtual Farm Show” will be inserted in our April 9 issue of Agri-View. It will also be available online.

Innovations in agricultural and biological engineering recently were recognized by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. The winners of the society’s 2020 AE50 award program were evaluated by an international panel of specialists in technology, design and product development. The entries were ranked on the basis of innovation, significant engineering advancement, and impact on market served.

CentralStar Cooperative, which serves dairy and beef producers in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana, has hired 18 employees in the past three months.

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LA CROSSE, Wis. – A good farmland lease helps both landowners and land seekers. Farmland leases also can help launch beginning farmers who don’t have large lines of credit. Best practices for farmland leasing was the subject of a workshop held at the recent Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service’s Organic Farming Conference.

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The Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association is one of more than 20 organizations asked that Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers exempt farming, agriculture and agribusiness from his “shelter in place” order, which was made March 24. These exemptions were made part of the order.

The National Aquaculture Association requests that the U.S. aquaculture community – farms and allied businesses – participate in a 15-minute survey developed by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and The Ohio State universities. The survey is intended to assess the direct and indirect effects of coronavirus disease COVID-19 on U.S. aquaculture and to gather input on types of assistance that will be most useful. The results will be shared nationally to assist farms, allied businesses and trade associations in communicating the impacts of COVID-19 to public and private decision makers.

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Producers have grown accustomed to a slumped agricultural economy, but the onset of COVID-19 – or coronavirus – in the U.S., many producers are left wondering where they stand amongst the slumping global economy.

Applications for enrollment in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Conservation Easement Program are encouraged. They must be submitted by Apr. 11 for 2020 funding consideration.

Holstein Association USA is updating its Total Performance Index formula. The association’s genetic-advancement committee met in January to review the breed’s progress and analyze current and predicted changes in milk pricing. The committee identified improvements for the formula and brought recommendations to the association's board of directors. The board approved the new formula, which will be implemented with April 2020 genetic evaluations.

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NEW HOLSTEIN, Wis. – Gold Star Dairy is aptly named. The New Holstein-area farm recently earned gold recognition for dairy quality by the National Mastitis Council. But the gold standard doesn’t stop at dairy quality.

Howard "AV" Roth, a fifth-generation hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin, recently was elected president of the National Pork Producers Council. Roth owns and operates Roth Feeder Pig Inc., a 3,000-head farrow-to-wean operation. He also raises Angus cattle and farms 1,200 acres of corn, oats and alfalfa.