WED AM News: Novel Coworking thrives in pandemic workforce disruption; Soybean prices jump, great news for Wisconsin farmers

— The pandemic may have sent everybody home, but flex office spaces are taking advantage of the needs of a disrupted workforce.

The COVID-19-induced work-from-home revolution has been a driver of business for Novel Coworking, an owner-operator coworking provider. Novel Coworking owns the buildings where it leases flex office spaces. The company operates in 38 locations across the U.S. including in Madison and Milwaukee. 

Kayley DiCicco, national accounts manager for Novel Coworking, said the company has seen an influx of inquiries from students and working parents whose homes just aren’t cut out for a work environment. This new market has resolved any losses from companies leaving the space or that had turned away from a coworking space option.

“A lot of UW-Madison students have been reaching out to us looking for short-term, plug-and-play office space for virtual learning this semester,” DiCicco said in an interview. 

The month-by-month leasing option starting at $299 is appealing to both students and parents, she added. Parents, who may have taken on the role of homeschooling during the pandemic, can bring their student with them to the office. College-aged students are attracted by the 24/7 individual desk or room access and complimentary coffee station. 

Read the full story at 

— Soybean prices have seen recent jumps as farmers across the state harvest at a rapid pace. 

From September to October, the USDA marked soybean prices was up 55 cents to $9.80 for the year. Last year, soybeans were at $8.57. Corn, too, has seen a jump over last month by 10 cents, bringing it four cents above last year at $3.60.

“This year is a great time for Wisconsin farmers to make some money,” said UW-Madison Prof. Paul Mitchell.  

According to Mitchell, the pickup in prices is due to fewer acres of soybeans on the great plains. For corn, there’s uncertainty surrounding yields due to drought on the western part of the corn belt and acres lost in and around Iowa during the derecho in August.

“Well the markets have jumped and decided there’s not as much corn as we think and there’s not as much soybeans as we think,” he said. “Wisconsin is looking good. Corn and soybeans are going to be above the national average for the year.”

Mitchell added that international trade has been picking up for both corn and soybeans — another reason for the lift in prices. 

— USDA’s Agricultural Statistics Service reports 92 percent of the state’s corn has reached maturity. 

That’s four weeks ahead of last year and 17 days ahead of the five-year average. Corn was being harvested for grain in some areas, now at 15 percent complete, though many producers were waiting for grain moistures to fall. 

Corn condition rated 79 percent good to excellent statewide, down one percentage point from last week.

Corn silage chopping was nearly complete, more than four weeks ahead of last year and three weeks ahead of the average. 

Soybeans dropping leaves was 95 percent, 22 days ahead of last year and a week ahead of the average. Soybean harvest was 46 percent complete, 16 days ahead of last year and a week ahead of the average. Soybean condition rated 81 percent good to excellent, down two percentage points from last week. 

— The rest of Wisconsin’s crops are looking good this year, too, Mitchell said. 

Winter wheat, rye and other cover crops were being planted as soon as fields were cleared, and manure spreading continued, according to the USDA. 

Potato harvest was reported as 90 percent complete, 13 days ahead of last year and six days ahead of the five-year average. 

Fourth cutting of alfalfa was reported as 93 percent complete, more than four weeks ahead of last year and eight days ahead of the average. Alfalfa was recovering well after the fourth cutting of hay and a few producers were taking a fifth cutting. Several reporters commented that rain was needed to help germinate fall plantings. 

Winter wheat planted was 78 percent complete, 27 days ahead of last year and 11 days ahead of the average. Fifty-five percent of winter wheat was emerged, a month ahead of last year and 11 days ahead of the average. 

Fall tillage was reported as 21 percent complete, 17 days ahead of last year and four days ahead of the average.  

— Gov. Tony Evers’ chief legal counsel says it was a “pointless exercise” for a legislative committee to direct the administration to submit its emergency capacity limit order as a rule. 

Ryan Nilsestuen said the order expires before the 30-day deadline for the administration to respond to the vote. The vote was taken by the GOP-controlled Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules.

“Even if they were right on the law, there’s no consequence for this,” Nilsestuen said. “Instead of actually taking concrete action to do something with the pandemic, instead it was a pointless exercise in order to make a political point, nothing more, nothing less.”

As JCRAR was voting Monday to require the administration to submit the order as a rule, Evers sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, asking to meet and bring forth ideas to deal with the pandemic.

Evers said yesterday he hasn’t heard a response from lawmakers. He noted Republicans have made clear what they’re against, including the mask mandate and the order to limit public gatherings. He said “it’s time” for them to come forward with ideas.

— Wisconsin reported a record 3,279 new COVID-19 cases yesterday and 34 deaths.

“I mean how many more do we need before people can take action? I’m hoping that the severity of what’s going on in the state of Wisconsin now will bring people to the table,” Evers said.

See more on the status of COVID-19 in Wisconsin below.

— Evers and Department of Children and Families Secretary Emilie Amundson have announced $50 million in funding for early child care and education businesses.

This March, 1,729 or roughly 40 percent of providers reported to DCF they had closed their doors. The Evers administration says its investments have helped that figure to drop to 5.3 percent or 237 providers.

“Throughout our public health emergency, Wisconsin has been a leader in prioritizing the needs of the early care and education community,” Evers said. “We know what’s best for kids is best for our state, and we have to connect the dots by making sure our families have access to safe, affordable, and high-quality child care so more people can remain in our workforce.”

Two months ago, Evers launched a website illustrating where the state’s share of federal COVID-19 funds are going. The Wisconsin COVID-19 Response and Recovery Dashboard gives a detailed view of $1.72 billion in investments of federal dollars, including significant funding from the federal CARES Act.

See the Wisconsin COVID-19 Response and Recovery Dashboard here:  

— A Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation webinar will explore the response to pandemic innovations. 

The Oct. 21 virtual discussion with innovators and experts will look at the opportunities and challenges of moving COVID-19 inventions to market.

The 4 p.m. panel will include: Kevin Noonan, McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP; Gene Quinn, IP Watchdog; Pilar Ossorio, UW-Madison and Morgridge Institute for Research; Dave Beebe, UW-Madison; Jeanine Burmania, WARF; and Lennon Rodgers, UW-Madison.

The discussion will be moderated by Justin Anderson, senior intellectual property manager at WARF.

Register for the event: 

— Lorrie Keating Heinemann will accept the “Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education” award Nov. 10 at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium.

Also known as the “Triple E” award, the designation was launched by the Wisconsin Technology Council to highlight the importance of teaching and mentoring entrepreneurs. 

Heinemann is the president and CEO of Madison Development Corp., which has invested in companies such as Nordic Consulting, TomoTherapy (now Accuray), PerBlue and NeuWave Medical. 

— Wisconsin’s new coronavirus deaths bring the state toll to 1,508. 

The new cases bring the seven-day average of daily confirmed cases to a record 2,727, up from 1,141 a month ago.

The confirmed cases were out of 14,541 people tested. The seven-day average of new confirmed cases per total people tested is at 19.6 percent, up from 19.1 percent Monday. In terms of total tests collected, the average positive test percentage is at 10.1 percent, up from 9.9 percent Monday.

The state reports 155,471 cumulative COVID-19 cases with 123,196 of those people recovered. The death rate for Wisconsin residents who have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 is at 1 percent.

Chippewa and Douglas counties each reported their first COVID-19 deaths yesterday. Milwaukee County leads the state’s count with 551 reported deaths followed by Racine County with 100 deaths.

Counties reporting deaths in the double digits include: Waukesha (98), Brown (78), Kenosha (68), Dane (45), Winnebago (45), Outagamie (43), Washington (39), Rock (36), Walworth (36), Marathon (31), Waupaca (25), Ozaukee (21), Grant (20), Sheboygan (20), Dodge (19), Fond du Lac (16), Portage (14), La Crosse (11) and Calumet (10).

Six counties in Wisconsin haven’t reported any COVID-19 deaths: Crawford, Iowa, Lafayette, Menominee, Pepin and Price.

Click here for more coronavirus resources and updates: 

— The field hospital at State Fair Park opens today at 8 a.m. with the capacity for 50 transfer patients as COVID-19 hospitalizations yet again reach new highs.

Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm said in a briefing yesterday that the Fox Valley, northeast and north central regions of Wisconsin are seeing the most acute capacity issues in hospitals. 

“The goal is to take pressure off local hospitals to treat the more severely ill COVID patients as well as their non-COVID patient load,” Palm said.

Hospitalizations number 950, which is three times higher than last month’s count. Intensive care patients number 240, up from 94 a month ago, according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s coronavirus data dashboard.

Statewide, hospitalizations increased roughly 18 percent this week over last. The ICU numbers represent about a 13 percent increase from a week ago.

The Alternative Care Facility in West Allis is not a hospital, Palm said. A team of health care professionals will accept and care for transfer patients, scaling patient capacity as needed. The field hospital will accept COVID-19 patients with lower acuity illness who need a lower level of care. These patients will be closer to being ready to be discharged and return home.

“Our current surge in cases will lead to more hospitalizations which is why we must be prepared,” Palm said. “As the governor said, we hope we do not need this overflow capacity, but the reality of this virus — its transmissibility, its incubation time and its potential severity — dictates that we get ready.”


# Tavern League of Wisconsin sues to block state’s 25% capacity limit

# Third Wisconsin Prison Experiences Coronavirus Outbreak

# New study finds slight increase in women representation on Wisconsin corporate boards 



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– UW-Platteville Expands Agricultural Cannabis Degree Program 


– Here’s a list of Milwaukee-area businesses to receive $2,500 We’re All In grants from WEDC 


– COVID-19 vaccines are chance at salvation, financial and beyond, for drugmakers 


– Fresh digs: Badger Mutual Insurance Co. 


– Investors poured more than $37B into U.S. startups last quarter. Here’s how much flowed into Wisconsin 


– July is the new January: More companies delay return to the office 


– Green Bay Reports 124-Percent Increase In Absentee Ballot Requests Compared To 2016 

– Pence touts Trump’s Supreme Court pick at Wisconsin rally

– Cities seek to dismiss suit that claims use of private grants will taint elections

– As Wisconsin sets records again for COVID-19 deaths, cases, Gov. Tony Evers calls on GOP leaders to meet

– Accused Michigan Terrorists Have Ties To Extremist Group Active In Wisconsin


– Wangard Partners announces leadership changes, succession plan 


– Milwaukee Mayor Barrett warns bars of more Covid-19 restrictions if they don’t clean up their act 


– Some Small Business Owners Say They Won’t See Much Help From Gov. Evers’ $5K Grants 


– This Wisconsin Native Became A World-Class Doctor. Now He’s Drawing Pro Athletes To Green Bay 


– River Run acquires West Bend-based IT and cybersecurity company 


– ‘Hill Has Eyes’ sells out opening weekend after months of COVID preparation 


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

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