First hearing on 2018 farm bill to be Feb. 23

Wisconsin State Farmer


National briefs


First hearing on 2018 farm bill to be Feb. 23 in Manhattan

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts says the first hearing on the 2018 farm bill will be held in Manhattan in February.

Roberts, a Republican from Kansas, is chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry. He announced Wednesday that the first hearing in the country on the farm bill will be Feb. 23 on the Kansas State campus.

In a news release, Roberts says agriculture officials want to come to Kansas to talk directly to producers. He says lawmakers need clear direction from producers on what is working and what isn't working in farm country.

In December, Roberts said believes the current farm bill is too complex but he was hesitant about changing the bill too much.


Beer giants to cut Montana barley contracts

Montana's struggling agricultural economy has taken another hit following the decision by two of the state's largest buyers of barley to reduce the number of contracts they offer to growers by as much as 60 percent.

The Great Falls Tribune reported that Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors informed barley growers this year that they will only be purchasing a fraction of the malt barley they have in recent years.

The two brewing giants say the decision was brought on by an abundance of barley harvested in recent years.The companies account for the purchase of nearly two-thirds of the barley grown in northcentral Montana.

Officials from the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee expect bid reductions to drop between 20 and 60 percent, resulting in a possible loss of more than $65 million in revenue.


OrganicaWorld to build Hydroponic Greenhouse Facilities in Groveland, Florida

To keep up with the $45 billion a year organic foods industry, OrganicaWorld™ is investing an additional $25 million to construct two additional $12.5 million greenhouse facilities in 2017 to increase its domestic production of farm fresh organic vegetables, micro greens, herbs and medicinal plants.

Each OrganicaWorld™ custom engineered greenhouse showcases the latest innovations in growing. With millions of dollars spent in research and development, OrganicaWorld™ is staged to grow over 30 of the most highly consumed and in demand fresh vegetables, as well as rare medicinal plants and innovative hybrid varieties.


Poultry plant to end wastewater discharges into nearby creek 

Poultry producer Allen Harim says it has agreed to stop discharging wastewater from its Harbeson processing plant into nearby Beaverdam Creek.

The company said that it has reached an agreement with Artesian Wastewater Management for Artesian to build a pipeline taking treated wastewater from the Sussex County chicken plant to Artesian's water recycling facility north of Milton. Artesian will use the wastewater for spray irrigation on agricultural land.

State environmental officials, who had loaned Allen Harim $11.5 million to finance an expansion and upgrade of its wastewater treatment facility in Harbeson, have agreed to direct $5 million of the remaining loan balance to fund a one-time impact fee to Artesian.

Officials say Artesian will be making a $17 million investment in infrastructure for the disposal of the treated wastewater.


Trelleborg named official partner

Trelleborg has been named as an official partner of the 6th AGCO Africa Summit, held in Berlin, Germany on Jan. 23. Launched in 2012, the AGCO Africa Summit is one of the leading platforms for the discussion of the critical issues impacting the region’s agricultural development.

The theme of the 2017 AGCO Africa Summit is ‘Agribusiness in Africa. Organizing Farmers of the Future’. At the Summit, CEOs, industry experts and political leaders will hold keynote speeches and panel discussions providing in-depth insight into the leading projects and initiatives that are accelerating the development of African agriculture. With a strong focus on commercial agriculture, the 2017 Summit will also focus on how agricultural producers, suppliers, manufacturers and processors can secure maximum ‘value’ from their respective value chains.