National Briefs: Farmer killed over herbicide use

Wisconsin State Farmer
National briefs


Schools to offer pork from students' hogs

The hogs of two Redmond High School FFA students were sold to Redmond School District's nutrition services department. The meat will be used to make dishes including breakfast sausage, carnitas and pulled pork.

FFA advisor Lance Hill said Keith Fiedler, general manager of nutrition services for the district, said he'd be interested in buying local meat in addition to garden produce.

FFA member Jake Pickering, 18, said he likes the idea of the meat being used in school lunches, because students will get to eat "homegrown pork."

The district paid $4 a pound for the pigs, at carcass weight, directly to the students. Hill said $4 is above the $2 average a lot of pigs might bring, but below what kids can get at the fair, where community members are especially generous in support of the kids.

The three pigs ended up yielding about 800 pounds of meat. Fiedler said most of it will be served at Redmond High School and Ridgeview as the sausage, carnitas and pulled pork Cuban sandwiches as soon as next month.


Stinkbugs hurt soybeans, but crop still respectable

Experts say Mississippi farmers expect a respectable soybean crop in spite of attacks by the red-banded stinkbug.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts an average of 48 bushels an acre on the 2 million acres planted in Mississippi.

Mississippi State University Extension Service entomologist Angus Catchot says farmers from the hills to the Delta had to fight the stinkbugs.

They've been rare in Mississippi since 2009, though south Louisiana deals with them every year. Catchot says they do much more damage than the stinkbugs more often found in Mississippi.

Soybean specialist Trent Irby says the forecast is not far below the record 52 bushels an acre harvested in 2014.

Agricultural economist Brian Williams says nationwide, a record crop is expected. He says prices are up from a year ago.


Farmer slain during argument over herbicide use 

Authorities say the fatal shooting of a farmer in northeast Arkansas apparently occurred during an argument over the use of a herbicide that's used to kill weeds, but is also toxic to some crops.

Mississippi County deputies found 55-year-old Mike Wallace of Manila shot to death Oct. 27 on a county road north of Leachville. Deputies later arrested 26-year-old Allan Curtis Jones of nearby Arbyrd, Missouri, for first-degree murder in the shooting.

Sheriff Dale Cook told reporters it appears the two men argued over the spraying of the chemical dicamba on Wallace's fields that ruined some of Wallace's crops.

Jones said he began shooting after Wallace grabbed his arm. A witness, who was not identified, told police Jones was backing away when Wallace grabbed him, then he heard gunshots.


Trial set to begin in Florida and Georgia's fight over water 

Florida and Georgia this week are taking their long-standing fight over the supply of water in their shared watershed to court. Arguments are expected to last for weeks, and the result could affect millions of people and major industries in both states.

The dispute centers on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin. The watershed drains nearly 20,000 square miles in western Georgia, eastern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

Florida claims that Atlanta and southwest Georgia farmers are using too much water and are hurting the oyster industry downstream. Georgia argues that limiting its water use will harm the economy.

A Florida attorney says if Florida's request for a cap is granted, it could be "catastrophic" for metro Atlanta and Georgia industries. Without a cap, Florida's shellfish industry dependent on fresh water flowing from the Apalachicola river into the bay may disappear.