Ag Briefs: Milkinaire Dairy to host Manitowoc Co. Twilight Meeting

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Milkinaire Dairy to host Twilight meeting

Milkinaire Dairy in Green Bay is hosting the Manitowoc County Holstein Association's twilight meeting Saturday, Sept. 12.

The event starts at 6:30 pm and is free and open to the public. Food, drinks, socializing opportunities along with a raffle and cow judging competition are part of the evening's events. The raffle will give away one registered Holstein calf with proceeds benefiting the Manitowoc County Junior Holstein Association.

Milkinaire Dairy, is owned by Vanna and Mark Leichtfuss, milks 190 registered Holsteins with a herd average of 24,000 pounds of milk. The couple first started farming in 2010 in Green Bay. They also currently farm 400 acres of corn, hay, oats and wheat. They have four children – Emerson, 5; Everett, 3; Loretta, 2; and Excalibur, 6 months – help out on the farm.

Milkinaire Dairy is located at 7607 Tannery Rd in Two Rivers.


WI farmer speaks at RNC

A northern Wisconsin dairy farmer spoke in support of President Trump's trade policies during the Republican National Convention.

According to WXOW, Cris Peterson is the CFO of a dairy farm in Grantsburg in Burnett County in the northwest corner of the state.

Peterson said they milk some 1,000 cows daily.

In her remarks, she said that President Trump understands the complexities of farming and cited the president's policies regarding agriculture with giving them the confidence to expand their operations.

She credited him with efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic to shore up the food production and distribution system in the country.


Dairy Strong conference going virtual

Dairy Strong, an annual conference that draws together over 600 farmers, corporate professionals, government and university officials, will move to an online-only format in January, the Dairy Business Association (DBA) announced.  

DBA is finalizing programming for the virtual event — Jan. 19-21 — and will announce details later. Past conferences had been held in Madison. The new format comes amid uncertainty about the pandemic.

“Although the format will be different, our goal remains as it has always been — to provide an experience where ideas are shared, connections are made and people are inspired,” the group’s executive director, Tim Trotter, said. “Dairy Strong’s programming has always been unique. The change in format will make the conference even more so.” 

Cost, registration and sponsorship information will be announced later. 


Minnesota farmers face new nitrogen fertilizer restrictions

Farmers in parts of Minnesota face new regulations starting Tuesday on how they apply nitrogen fertilizer.

The Groundwater Protection Rule, developed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, took effect in June to tackle nitrate contamination in the state's groundwater. But the restrictions on when farmers in specific areas can apply fertilizer began this week.

The restrictions prohibit farmers from applying nitrogen fertilizer in the fall or on frozen ground, in parts of Minnesota where the groundwater is vulnerable to contamination. The regulation applies to nearly 12% of the state's cropland, mainly in the central and southeastern parts of the state.

Nitrogen applied in the fall on coarse soil or karst bedrock is more likely to run off or seep into the groundwater before it can be used by crops planted in the spring, Minnesota Public Radio News  reported.

Nitrate contamination comes from various sources, including septic systems and urban drainage. In Minnesota, however, the largest source is the fertilizer and animal manure typically applied on farmland.


No drought relief despite hurricane

While Hurricane Laura made landfall as a Category 4 storm, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported it had rapidly weakened to a Category 1 storm and then a tropical storm by afternoon.

The Louisiana Farm Bureau said some sugarcane was blown over but production would be only minimally impacted as cane tops were not broken. Most rice fields had also been harvested ahead of the storm, Communications Director Avery Davidson said.

Crop damage may be limited in the Delta as the storm stayed west of major growing areas, but wind gusts reaching as high as 70 mph likely flattened some corn fields, according to Associated Press.

Rains from the powerful storm are forecast to spread well inland, although they are not likely to reach the driest areas of the Midwest.

Crops in places like Iowa, Illinois and Indiana have shriveled due to hot and dry weather during August. The heatwave, which hit as soybeans were progressing through their critical pod filling phase of development, has lowered forecasts for what was expected to be a record corn crop.


Dump of spoiled milk leads to fish kill

Environmental officials in Iowa are investigating a fish kill in a central Iowa creek they say was caused when a grocery store dumped 800 gallons of spoiled milk.

The incident happened on Aug. 26 when officials discovered a stretch of Fourmile Creek fouled by rancid milk and traced the source to a Hy-Vee store in Ankeny, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said in a news release.

Officials said a store employee instructed workers to dump the milk following a power outage caused by a rare high wind storm on Monday.

Minnows and small game fish have been found dead in half-mile span in the creek, officials said. The DNR said it's considering enforcement action, including restitution for the fish killed.


China blocks imports from Australian beef producer

China blocked imports from an Australian beef producer on Friday after reporting a banned drug was found in its meat, and Australian officials said they were working to resolve the problem.

Imports of beef from John Dee Warwick Pty. Ltd. that contained the banned chemical, chloramphenicol, were destroyed, the General Administration of Customs of China announced.

China earlier blocked imports of beef from Australia's largest producers in what political analysts suggested was a dispute over trade rules. But Australian agriculture minister said the latest move was a legitimate one. 

Australian Agriculture Minister David Littleproud released a statement saying his department had been notified about the suspension due to the detection of a substance known as chloramphenicol. 

Littleproud said the element could naturally occur in some feed and that Agriculture Department was working with officials in Beijing to rectify the situation as soon as possible.


Dutch ministry abandons controversial feed measure

A proposal by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Quality to limit the addition of proteins in feed concentrates for dairy cattle in an effort to reduce Dutch nitrogen emissions led to strong opposition from the farm sector.

According to the USDA's Foreign Ag report, in May 2020, Dutch Agriculture Minister Schouten announced that she intended to temporarily limit the use of proteins in feed as of Sept. 1 (until the end of 2020) in order to attain a reduction of 0.2 kilotons in nitrogen emissions.

Through this measure, the Ministry hoped to create space for the construction of 75,000 new homes this year (which also generates emissions). In the end, however, the Ministry elected to scrap the feed measure due to a recent period of drought in the Netherlands.

Research from Wageningen University indicated that the feed measure would not have successfully reduced nitrogen emissions as more protein would need to be added to cows’ diets in order to make up for lower levels of protein in grass and ensure animal health.


Nebraska launches new ag branding campaign

Nebraska is launching a new campaign to promote local agricultural companies to foreign countries, many of whom are the state's biggest customers, Gov. Pete Ricketts announced Monday.

The new campaign is called " Nebraska Straight from the Good Life " and will be managed by the state Department of Agriculture. Agricultural companies that are based in Nebraska or have a significant presence in the state will be allowed to participate for free, Associated Press reported.

Agriculture is Nebraska's largest industry, and many of its farm farm and ranch products go to Asian and European nations.


Farmer found guilty of contaminating baby food for blackmail

A sheep farmer in Britain has been found guilty of planting baby food laced with metal shards in stores as part of a plan to blackmail a supermarket chain.

Prosecutors said Nigel Wright, 45, contaminated jars of Heinz baby food between 2018 and February, and sent dozens of emails and letters to Tesco in a bid to extort $1.84 million in the online currency Bitcoin.

Wright claimed to be part of a group of farmers angry at the low price they were paid for the milk they sold.

Tesco had to recall about 42,000 jars of baby food after a mother reported discovering pieces of metal in one of the jars. A second mother later also came forward saying she made a similar discovery while feeding her 9-month-old.

A jury found him guilty of two counts of contaminating goods and three counts of blackmail, however, according to an Associated Press report, a judge has asked for a psychiatric report to be prepared ahead of his sentencing.