Mike Ballweg, Agriculture Agent
- Provided leadership for developing and delivering, via zoom and YouTube, Growing and Feeding Alternative Forages, on Friday, April 3rd, to farmers and ag-professionals across Wisconsin. Forage shortages continue to challenge dairy farmers especially in Eastern WI and negatively impact farm profitability during the market disruptions of Covid-19. 100% of the poll respondents indicated that the webinar was either Extremely helpful or Somewhat helpful. 70% responded that they had increased their knowledge. Approximately 150 people participated in the webinar.
- Covid-19 has disrupted dairy markets resulting in an oversupply of milk being delivered to dairy processing plants. Farmers have been asked to dispose of milk on their farms in an environmentally sound way. Collaborated with Carrie Laboski, UW-Madison Soil Science Department and the NPM program to develop the webinar, Considerations for Land Spreading Milk Webinar held on April 7th. Approximately 625 people participated in state wide.
- Worked with local Media (Plymouth Review and Sheboygan Falls News) to deliver a news story to help the general public better understand how Covid-19 is disrupting dairy markets and grain markets and the impacts it is having on local farmers.
- Covid-19 is not only disrupting dairy markets it has negatively impacted the grain market as well. Cash grain markets have fallen 15-20 % in the last 6 weeks. Much of this disruption is the result of lower energy prices and consequently lower prices for corn being made into ethanol and an export market that has been erratic at best. The Crop Production Team has identified and developed Extension Resources to address grain crop production in low-margin years. Low margin crop production resources have been shared with county educators, industry professionals, and farmers across the state.
- Extension Resources and Ag Educational programs are delivered via email (Tri-County Email List) to 550 farmers and ag professionals in the Sheboygan, Ozaukee, and Washington County area.
Master Gardener Volunteers Continue to Learn
- UW Turfgrass Extension Specialist Doug Soldat shared: The latest science about lawn care and tips and tricks for making your lawn healthy while protecting the environment. April 28, 2020 – via Zoom
- Wisconsin Ticks: Tick Biology, Diseases, and Personal Protection
- PJ Liesch from the UW-Madison Dept. Entomology Insect Diagnostic Lab covered the basic biology of Wisconsin’s main tick species and discussed the health threats associated with ticks. April 23, 2020 -via zoom