Ag Briefs: Good idea to rejoin trade deal

Wisconsin State Farmer


Ryan: 'good idea' to rejoin trade deal

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he thinks it would be a "good idea" for the United States to re-join the Asia-Pacific trade deal that President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of last year.

Trump is now signaling that he is open to rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership even though he campaigned on the promise to get out of the trade deal.

Ryan said in a speech to members of the Wisconsin chamber of commerce on April 20, that he thinks flaws in the TPP could be fixed. Ryan had been an advocate for the free trade deal but blocked a vote on it when Barack Obama was president, saying mistakes were made in negotiating the agreement.

Ryan says the trade deal could force counties like China "to agree to play by our rules and treat us fairly."


Cow numbers fall, production remains steady

Milk production in Wisconsin during March 2018 totaled 2.60 billion pounds, up less than 1 percent from the previous March, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Milk Production report.

The average number of milk cows during March, at 1.27 million head, was down 1,000 from last month and down 6,000 from last year. Monthly production per cow averaged 2,040 pounds, up 10 pounds from last March.


Thieves target FFA Disney tickets

The executive director of a northern California FFA group says thieves made off with 8,000 stolen Disneyland tickets worth about $800,000.

Matt Patton said the organization's trailer carrying the tickets and audio and visual equipment was stolen April 18 from its office in Galt. He says Disneyland has canceled the tickets and is working to print new ones for the 6,500 students attending the organization's leadership conference in Anaheim.

Officials are advising people to be cautions if buying Disneyland tickets from a source other than Disney.


Three charged in deaths of dozens of cattle

Three family members have been charged with animal cruelty and neglect following the deaths of dozens of cattle on their Nebraska farm.

Acting under search warrants, deputies found at least 65 carcasses on the property near Overton, about 150 miles west of Lincoln. No information has been released on the cause of death, but many of the animals were emaciated.

Fifty-nine-year-old Eugene Wempen Sr., his wife Diane, and their 33-year-old son, Eugene Wempen Jr., are charged with four felony and misdemeanor counts.

Richmond, VA

University of Richmond using goats for landscape management

The University of Richmond is planning to use a herd of goats as part of a landscape management project.

The university said in a news release Monday that the goats will help clear invasive species from part of the campus as part of an effort to create an "eco-corridor." They will reside in a contained area on the outskirts of the university's campus for twelve weeks.

Rob Andrejewski is the university's director of sustainability. He says incorporating goat browsing into its invasive plant removal process will reduce the need for herbicide and gas-powered equipment.

According to the news release, the University of Virginia, William and Mary and the James River Park System have all successfully used the animals as a mechanism for invasive species removal.


Brexit pushes European dairy giant to make cuts

A major European dairy cooperative says that currency swings caused by Brexit are among the reasons it has to cut costs by over $495 million over the next three years.

Denmark-based Arla Foods, the maker of Lurpak butter, says "two unexpected developments" — the pound's drop after Brexit and a shift in commodity prices — are forcing it to act.

CEO Peder Tuborgh says savings may come by changing work routines, trimming bureaucracy and cutting costs. The cooperative is owned by farmers in Denmark, Sweden, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.