MIDWEST BRIEFS: Midwestern BioAg wins Sustainability Award

Wisconsin State Farmer


Midwest briefs


Rare Superbug id'd on U.S. pig farm

A rare superbug gene has been identified on U.S. pig farm. Researchers, led by Thomas Wittum, chair of the veterinary medicine team at The Ohio State University, discovered bla IMP-27, an extremely rare gene and say the discovery could suggest that raw meat could carry the superbug into the human population.

No pigs scheduled for slaughter carried the problematic gene and the pig herd has been a closed herd since the 1960’s. Researchers believe the gene must have been carried into the herd, though they are not sure how.

The gene gives bacteria the ability to resist the effects of carbapenems, a class of “last-resort” antibiotics. Researchers discovered several different species of the bacteria on the farm, which suggests the gene has been passed around already.

A single sample was discovered carrying bla IMP-27 originally, which led Ohio State researchers to look more closely at the moderate-sized, family-run operation. Among the 1500 sows on the farm, researchers found several species of bacteria, including E. coli and Enterobacteriaceae. There were several bacteria found that were resistant to more than one type of antibiotic.

Wittum told NBC News that the pigs were never given any carbapenem antibiotics and they didn’t receive antibiotics to promote their growth. However, they did receive a dose of antibiotics at birth, and for males a second dose at castration.


GROWMARK announces Missouri winner

Marrah Delmont of Halfway, MO, has been named the Missouri state winner of the 2017 GROWMARK essay contest for FFA members. The theme of this year’s contest was “What value do cooperatives provide to today’s farmers?”

Delmont is a student at Halfway High School and a member of the Halfway FFA chapter. Her FFA advisor is Jeff Voris.

As the contest winner, Delmont will receive a $500 award from GROWMARK at the Missouri FFA State Convention in Columbia, held in April. The Halfway FFA chapter will also receive a $300 award in honor of her accomplishment to help future students.


Midwestern BioAg wins Sustainability Award

Midwestern BioAg was named winner of the Rabobank Leader in Sustainability Award. The award is given to a leading company in the food and agribusiness industry. The award recognizes an organization that has made significant strides towards business, environmental, social and governance sustainability in the last year.

Rabobank noted that Midwestern BioAg is “focused on building soil health to increase yields and profits,” and is able to “target solutions to fit specific crops and soil types.” In describing 2016 activities, it noted that Midwestern BioAg “began helping larger partners reduce their climate impacts, initiated new projects to track nutrient use efficiency, and completed a $21 million capital raise to support projected growth across the Midwest.”

Midwestern BioAg manufactures and distributes fertilizers that build soil health while increasing yields and nutritional quality of both food and forage. Its products and practices engage soil life, enhance nutrient use efficiency, build soil organic matter, improve crop resiliency and increase the long-term productivity of farmland. Founded in 1983, the Wisconsin-based company has facilities across the Midwest.


Grain storage a concern in SD heading into winter 

A combination of unseasonably warm, dry fall weather and low corn prices could mean more grain is stored on farms this winter. Ag experts said that farmers will have to watch how they store their grain and wait for prices to rise, the Aberdeen News reported.

Cold weather is critical to preserving grains, such as corn, South Dakota State University Extension agronomy field specialist said David Karki, adding that heat and moisture are the two big factors to any kind of mold growth and any other pest.

Wheat Growers senior vice president of operations John Husk said it's important to monitor grain regularly, no matter how it's stored. Husk said the warm weather going into November might have bolstered Aberdeen-area producers. His company didn't have to dry some of its grain because it was already close to being dry enough.

"The less moisture, the longer you can store," said Karki, adding that healthy crop yields due to the weather won't drive prices up very quickly.