National briefs

Wisconsin State Farmer


National briefs

Novus CEO receives prestigious Globalist Award

Novus President and Chief Executive Officer, Francois Fraudeau, was recognized for his contributions to advance international trade in the St. Louis region during a special ceremony hosted by the Boeing Institute of International Business in the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University,

As President and CEO of Novus International, a global animal nutrition solutions provider, Fraudeau's influence in the global agriculture economy has widespread and positive impact in achieving the Company's vision: to help feel the world affordable, wholesome food and achieve a higher quality of life. With sales in over 100 countries and growing, Fraudeau encourages the organization to develop globally-relevant products and services, while maintaining attention to the minutest of local details.


Officials: Screwworm infestation spreads in Florida Keys

Officials say the infestation of screwworms is spreading in the Florida Keys.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced they've detected screwworms in six areas west of Big Pine and No Name keys.

Earlier this month officials announced Oct. 18  that anyone heading north from the Florida Keys with animals must stop at a checkpoint so agriculture officials can check for signs of New World screwworm. The screwworms are maggots that eat livestock and pets alive. Since July officials say they've killed about 60 Key deer.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said the Keys' isolation may help the infestation from spreading.

Officials say the additional detections aren't unexpected since enhanced surveillance is underway.


Orange and grapefruit estimates drop by double digits

The first Florida citrus estimate of the season offers a gloomy forecast: a 14 percent drop in orange production from the previous season and an 11 percent decrease in grapefruits.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported last week that Florida was only expected to produce 70 million boxes of oranges during the 2016-17 growing season. Last season, Florida produced 81.5 million boxes. The estimate puts Florida's grapefruit forecast at 9.6 million boxes.

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam says the forecast is disheartening and further proof of the difficult times facing Florida's citrus industry. Florida's citrus industry has been decimated in the past decade by the citrus greening disease.


Red tide, hurricane delays may cut into stone crab harvests

A lingering red tide and Hurricane Matthew may cut into early stone crab harvests, according to fishermen in southwest Florida.

The stone crab season began Saturday and runs through May 15. The Naples Daily News reports that Hurricane Matthew delayed the setting of thousands of crab traps along the Gulf coast.

When fishermen were able to set out for stone crabs, they found murky waters and more dead fish left by a red tide algae bloom that has caused thousands of fish to wash ashore since early October. Damas Kirk of Kirk Fish Co. in Goodland says that instead of hurting stone crabs, the red tide actually helps them avoid fishermen's traps.

"When the whole bottom is covered with food, why would they bother getting into our traps?" Kirk said. "They're opportunistic eaters. What's bad for one thing is good for another."

Last year, high harvest totals and warmer water temperatures kept stone crab prices low. Warmer temperatures allow fishermen in Florida's Panhandle to harvest later into the season, increasing competition for southwest Florida crabbers.