We’ve learned in the past 10 weeks how important foodservice is to agriculture. Now we’re learning how important foodservice is to consumers. Dining at restaurants ranks in the top three things people are looking forward to as communities reopen. Socializing with friends and visiting families also top the list. Consumers want a safe and relaxing experience while visiting restaurants according to Jack Li, who was the keynote speaker at a four-day conference organized by Nation’s Restaurant News and Restaurant Hospitality called “Restaurants Rise.” Li is the founder of Dataessential, a company that does menu research. “We’ve gone from a place of helplessness with fear to a place of caution,” Li said during his speech.
The application period for the Wisconsin Farm Support Program opens Monday (June 15) and will run through June 29. The program will be administered through the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. Payments will range from $1,000 to $3,500 for farmers with gross farm income between $35,000 and $5 million. Information can be found on the Department of Revenue website. https://www.revenue.wi.gov/Pages/TaxPro/2020/FarmSupportProgram.aspx . The application will be posted June on 15 at that web address.
The latest USDA Slaughter Under Federal Inspection report showed hog harvest at 1,981,447 head for the week ending Saturday, May 30, which was lower than the previous week’s 2,173,162 head. The week did include a major holiday, which impacted numbers. Sow harvest was 55,735 compared to 67,544 the week before. This makes the second report in a row with a decrease in sow harvest. For the week ending May 30, cattle harvest was 527,119 head and that compares to 519,123 the week previous. Dairy breed cow harvest was 48,120 head for the week and that’s down from 55,853. It seems that milk dumping has stopped, and encouragement to decrease production has eased with expectations that milk prices will increase. That may limit the number of cows heading to sales barns.
Cash fed cattle were lower this week, with the exception of dairy breed steers which were mostly steady. Holstein steers brought $84.00 to $89.00/cwt with some lots selling from 90.00 to $92.00/cwt. Beef breed steers did see some sales barn tops of $110.00 early in the week, but $103.00 to $108.00 was more common. Market cows were mostly steady, but higher in some instances with the bulk falling into a range of $46.00 to $54.00/cwt. Holstein bull calves were steady to higher at $75.00 to $170.00/head.
Corn planting in Wisconsin is 96 percent complete, 94 percent of the soybeans are in the ground, and first cutting of alfalfa is 50 percent complete. Seventy seven percent of Wisconsin pasture is rated good to excellent.