Ag briefs: Langlade Co. is tops in oat production

Wisconsin State Farmer
Midwest briefs


Saying no to slaughtering chickens even faster

A coalition of animal welfare, consumer safety, and worker rights organizations announced on Dec. 13, that more than 82,000 concerned members of the public, workers and allies have raised their voices against faster slaughter lines in poultry plants.

The organizations are urging the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to reject a recent proposal from the National Chicken Council (NCC) that would allow poultry processing facilities to have the unrestricted ability to run their line speeds faster than the current, already excessive, rate of 140-birds per minute.

Submitted in September 2017, the NCC's proposal faced immediate backlash, prompting FSIS to open a public comment period from October 13 until December 13, 2017.

This proposal, in addition to violating current federal law, would place worker safety, animal welfare and consumer safety in peril.  

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA), the Animal Welfare Institute, Compassion Over Killing, Food & Water Watch, Mercy For Animals, and the National Employment Law Project join tens of thousands of their supporters in opposition to the proposal. The organizations collected consumer and worker comments via their respective online petitions and also directed consumers to comment directly with FSIS during the comment period. 


Langlade County highest oat producing county in the state in 2017

In 2017, Langlade County was the largest oat-producing county in Wisconsin at 677,000 bushels, according to estimates released on Dec. 14, by the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Grant was the second largest producing county with 349,000 bushels, followed by Iowa with 201,000 bushels.

The Northwest district had a marginally higher yield in 2017 compared with 2016, while the remaining district yields fell. After being the highest yielding county in the state in 2016, Washington had the largest decrease, falling 65.1 bushels to just 49.9 bushels. Calumet, Wood and Portage counties also had decreases of over 20 bushels per acre, decreasing 25.0, 22.9 and 20.6 bushels, respectively.

Sheboygan, Kewaunee and Langlade counties tied for the highest yield in the state with 74.7 bushels per acre. Door County also recorded an average yield over 70.0 bushels per acre with 70.3. Polk County had the greatest increase in yield from 2016, at 20.0 bushels. Waushara County showed the next largest increase in yield, at 18.0 bushels. Five other counties had increases in yield from the previous year.

Yields are derived from production divided by area harvested. Only published estimates were considered in rankings of districts and counties.


Manitowoc County top in winter wheat producing

Manitowoc County continued to be the largest winter wheat producing county in Wisconsin with 787 thousand bushels produced, according to estimates released on Dec. 14, by the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Dane and Fond du Lac were second and third in 2017 production with 768 and 668 thousand bushels, respectively.

East Central District was the largest winter wheat producing district in Wisconsin, with 4.42 million bushels produced.

The highest yielding county was Dane County with a yield of 83.2 bushels per acre. Rock and Iowa Counties had the next two highest yields at 80.7 and 78.9 bushels, respectively. Portage County had the lowest yield at 42.0 bushels per acre.

The largest increase in yield came in Juneau County with an increase of 13.5 bushels per acre. Calumet was the county with the largest drop in yield from the previous year with a decrease of 27.3 bushels per acre.

Yields are derived from production divided by area harvested. Only published estimates were considered in rankings of districts and counties.


Landowners $618K for illegal pumping of water

The state of Washington is fining some landowners near Moses Lake $618,000 for illegally pumping more than 500 million gallons from the declining Odessa aquifer.

The state Department of Ecology in June issued cease and desist orders requiring the landowners to stop pumping groundwater on more than 500 acres of crops. But the landowners continued to pump water for 3½ months.

The Odessa aquifer has been declining since 1980. The agency says groundwater has dropped more than 200 feet.

The Ecology Department says the estimated value of crops grown on the illegally irrigated lands is more than $1 million.


Greitens praises help for concentrated animal feeding farms

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is praising Missouri's revamped Clean Water Commission for allowing two new concentrated animal feeding operations in the state.
Greitens in a statement on Dec. 14 said the state needs "more farms, more jobs and less government."

Neighbors worried about pollution, smell and other issues have been fighting RNR Farms in McDonald County and Trenton Farms in Grundy County for years. Previous clean water commissioners voted against the chicken and hog farms.

But Greitens last week appointed three new members to the board with agricultural ties. Days later, the commission voted to grant permits for the farms.

Missouri Democrats have been critical of the Clean Water Commission's membership switch-up. State party chairman Stephen Webber says Greitens stacked the board and said it makes "absolutely no sense."


Four join WROF board

Joan Behr, Ann McDonald, Sara Schoenborn and Max Wenck have been selected to provide vision and leadership on the Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. (WROF) Board of Directors.

For over 80 years the WROF has made a tangible, positive impact on Wisconsin’s rural enterprise. Over $6,000,000 has been awarded to over 6,000 recipients at more than 30 different Wisconsin educational institutions and programs.

Behr served in various capacities with Foremost Farms USA, completing her work there as Sr. Director of Corporate Communications & Brand Management.  McDonald is the Business Development Lead for The American Dairy Coalition. Schoenborn is the Director of Communications for the Cooperative Network, where she manages the organization’s branding, public & media relations and event marketing and Wenck has served as Partner and Director of the Morgan & Myers Inc.’s Agriculture and Pasture-to-Plate practices and provides counsel to the Morgan & Myers Inc.’s Food, Health & Nutrition practice.


Tuffy’s Pet Foods invests in pet food science program at Kansas State 

Tuffy’s Pet Foods, Perham, Minnesota announced on Dec. 13, it has made an investment in the pet food science program in the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University. They have given a gift to create the Tuffy’s Pet Foods Leadership Fund for Faculty and Program Development in Pet Food Science.

This gift supports faculty in the pet food program in the Department of Grain Science and Industry in the College of Agriculture. The gift also supports continued investment in research and program development in the area of pet food and nutrition science.

“This contribution to our program exemplifies the community focus and leadership that Tuffy's/KLN Family brands has to pets, pet parents and to the students that will be the future pet food industry employees and scientists advancing our knowledge regarding the ideal foods and nutrition in the future” said Dr. Greg Aldrich the pet food program coordinator at K-State.

“An in-depth understanding of pet food science and animal nutrition is central to Tuffy’s Pet Foods’ efforts to provide the very best in pet nutrition,” according to Patrick Dolen, marketing coordinator for Tuffy’s Pet Foods. “Through hard work, consistent effort and a willingness to share knowledge, Dr. Greg Aldrich and K-State have earned the respect of the pet food industry. By investing in programs and faculty that prepare students for successful careers, we are seeding the future with the scientific minds that will continue to drive innovation and safety while meeting the needs of pets and their owners. Given our strategically aligned efforts surrounding pet health, Tuffy’s is a very proud supporter of the K-State pet food program and faculty.”

As Kansas State University’s strategic partner for philanthropy, the KSU Foundation inspires and guides philanthropy toward university priorities to boldly advance K-State family.

For more information on Tuffy’s please visit their website at