02/06/2019- 2018 was a difficult year for Marinette County farmers. UW Extension Agricultural Agent Scott Reuss says unfavorable milk and grain prices and rising production costs are forcing farms locally and across the state to shut down, especially as bank operating loans become hard to come by. Reuss says the average acre of both corn and soybean crops just broke even last year. Adding to these farmers’ struggles is the challenge of finding and retaining reliable workers willing to perform sometimes strenuous labor in a variety of elements. 691 Wisconsin dairy farms ended operations last year, including 5 in Marinette County. That leaves less than 60 dairy producers in the county- almost 60% fewer than when Reuss took his post in 1997. Reuss does note that while the number of farms has decreased, the total number of cows in the county has grown from 13000 in 1997 to nearly 16000 today.