Farmers in western Wisconsin are about to get a $50-a-bushel boost to help them cover the growing costs of corn for their fields.
The program, which is part of a state program that includes the state’s growing season, will start in March and run through the end of 2019, said Amy Davis, director of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
The $50 subsidy for the first three months of 2019 is a result of a $40,000 donation by the Wisconsin Farmers Association and a $25,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The USDA gave $1.5 million to the program, but Davis said it will be supplemented by other federal dollars.
Davis also said that the state will make up the difference with higher taxes and other costs that may be collected.
Farmers in the western region have been relying on the program to cover the cost of fertilizers, irrigation and other services, said Kevin Foltz, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau.
The WDFNR program, a partnership between the Department of State Lands and Natural Resources, the Wisconsin DNR and the Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station, has been running since 1990 and covers about 30 million acres in Wisconsin, the state Agriculture Department said.
Davis said the state is the only state that does not require a farmer to pay for corn growing services.
The WDFNA has offered $1,000 for each bushel of corn grown for the program’s first three quarters.
Foltz said the WDF NA will make payments of $1 a bushell of corn and $2 a bushing of corn harvested during the crop’s first two years, which will be paid out over the next three years.
The new subsidy for corn growers will help cover the costs of crop-related equipment and fertilizer, Davis said.
“This is a big help to farmers who are already struggling,” Davis said in a statement.