Ag Briefs: $167M WI wind farm to power 25,000 homes

Wisconsin State Farmer
Midwest briefs


Monsanto asks judge to halt herbicide ban

Monsanto asked an Arkansas judge to halt the state's plan to ban an herbicide that's drawn complaints from farmers across several states who say the weed killer has drifted onto their fields and caused widespread damage.

The the rule approved by the state Plant Board, would prohibit the use of dicamba from April 16 through Oct. 31. The ban is expected to go before a legislative panel next month, but the Missouri-based company said action is needed now because farmers are already buying their products for next year's growing season.

`Monsanto said the "severely curtails its ability to sell its new dicamba-tolerant seed and low-volatility dicamba herbicide within the state, and every day the ban remains in place costs Monsanto sales and customers.'


New $167M wind farm to power 25,000 homes

A new wind farm in southwestern Wisconsin is expected to bring power to about 25,000 homes.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that EDP Renewables has finished construction on the $167 million Quilt Block Wind Farm in Lafayette County.

Dairyland Power Cooperative has an agreement to purchase power from the wind farm for the next 20 years.

EDP Renewables will pay landowners about $23 million to host the towers for the duration of the project. The company will also make annual payments to Seymour Township and Lafayette County as part of a revenue sharing agreement with the state.


Study: CAFOs reduce home property values

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue has found that homes near large dairy operations have been selling for as much as 13 percent below their assessed value in Kewaunee County, where odor, noise and water pollution from the sprawling feedlots have been a big problem.

A department study concluded that assessments could be reduced by 8 percent to 13 percent for homes within a mile of the county’s six largest Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), and that reductions may also be appropriate in nearby counties with similar conditions, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

The study was conducted after a town of Pierce couple appealed their assessment. It was the first time a homeowner has appealed to the state with the argument that a CAFO had lowered a property’s value, department spokesman Patty Mayers said.


Poultry producer accused of polluting groundwater

Delaware state regulators say a poultry producer polluted the groundwater near a processing plant and must supply bottled water to area residents whose wells may be contaminated.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports that Mountaire Farms — the 7th largest U.S. poultry producer — is facing fines and other sanctions because the groundwater near its Millsboro-area plant may be contaminated with fecal coliform and high levels of nitrogen nitrate.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources says the contamination entered the groundwater through a state-permitted spray irrigation system that allows Mountaire to apply wastewater from its processing plant to nearby farmland. That wastewater, which contains both poultry and human waste, is supposed to be thoroughly treated.