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Ag Briefs: Lawmakers receive Friend of Farm Bureau recognition

Wisconsin State Farmer
National briefs

MADISON, WI

Lawmakers receive Friend of Farm Bureau recognition

Six of Wisconsin’s federal lawmakers have been recognized with the ‘Friend of Farm Bureau’ award.

Every two years, lawmakers who have advocated for agriculture during the previous congressional session are recognized with the award presented by American Farm Bureau with nomination and approval from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Board of Directors.

This year’s recipients are Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin along with Representatives Ron Kind, Mike Gallagher, Glenn Grothman and Bryan Steil.

“The recipients of the Friend of Farm Bureau award have supported policies or taken special action that benefit Wisconsin farm families,” said WFBF President Joe Bragger. “Having elected officials who support agriculture is essential to a bright future for our farms and rural communities.”

NEW ORLEANS, LA

New Orleans ports escape damage

The head of the Soy Transportation Coalition, Mike Steenhoek, says the ports of New Orleans are resuming normal operations after Hurricane Delta skirted off to the west on Friday.

Steenhoek told Brownfield Ag News that the concentration of export facilities along the Lower Mississippi River really appeared to escape any kind of substantial damage.

“So, from an ag logistics perspective, it looks like things are back to resuming operations—which is a very good thing,” he said, adding that with large Chinese purchases, the industry can’t afford to have any major shipping disruptions.

MADISON, WI

Cancellation of WDE poses economic hit

According to World Dairy Expo and Madison economic officials, cancellation of the annual event will result in a loss of $25 million in economic activity. The six-day event was canceled for the first time in 54 years due to concerns over the coronavirus.

Dairy Expo Communications manager Katie Schmitt told the media that the event attracts over 60,000 people annually and due to the virus and nature of the event, a virtual expo wasn't possible.

Destination Madison president and CEO Deb Archer says cancellation of the event hit not only front line businesses but also suppliers and workers as well as consumers.

MADISON, WI

Hunters reminded to register deer

The DNR urges hunters to register their harvested deer by 5 p.m. the day after the deer is recovered.

Licenses are on sale now online at gowild.wi.gov and at approved license agents around the state. DNR service centers remain closed.

When registering, hunters are encouraged to use GameReg, a registration system that collects harvest information from the hunter and provides a confirmation number for the hunter’s records. The system is simple, fast and convenient for hunters.

Hunters have three options to register their deer: Online at GameReg.WI.Gov (the fastest and easiest option), by phone at 1-844-426-3734 or electronically at a participating in-person registration station.

Before you register, have the deer harvest authorization number handy. The registration system will prompt hunters to answer a series of questions such as the deer management unit in which the deer was harvested, the age (adult or fawn), sex (buck or doe) of the deer and weapon type used to harvest the animal.

You will receive a 10-character confirmation number for your records once your deer has been successfully registered.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Second round of CFAP payments headed out

USDA released its initial update this week on the second round of payments under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, noting that it has already distributed nearly $2 billion of the $13 billion available for CFAP 2.0. 

NMPF president and CEO Jim Mulhern said of that sum, $204 million has gone to dairy producers.

Payments to corn growers were the largest among the major commodities at $687 million, followed by cattle ($414 million), soybeans ($255 million) and hogs ($120 million).

Signup for CFAP 2.0 is open until Dec. 11. The first round of CFAP distributed about $10.2 billion of the $16 billion that was originally budgeted. 

SEATTLE, WA

Search murder hornet nest fails

Washington state officials said Monday they were again unsuccessful at live-tracking a "murder" hornet while trying to find and destroy a nest of the giant insects.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture said an entomologist used dental floss to tie a tracking device on a female hornet, only to lose signs of her when she went into a forest, according to Associated Press.

Scientists then tied a tracking device onto her body and released her two days later onto an apple tree. They lost track of her after she went through some blackberry bushes, though officials believe the tracker was still attached at the time of its last signal.

A total of 18 hornets have been found in the state since they were first seen last year near the U.S.-Canadian border, the agriculture department said. 

The Asian giant hornet — the world's largest at 2 inches — can decimate entire hives of honeybees and deliver painful stings to humans. Farmers in the northwestern U.S. depend on those honey bees to pollinate many crops, including raspberries and blueberries.

LANSING, MI

Mink housed on MI farm test positive for coronavirus

The virus that causes COVID-19 in humans has been detected in mink housed on a Michigan farm, the state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development announced Friday.

The recent discovery of the coronavirus in mink at the unnamed farm is not the first time the disease has been found in the animal in the US, according to the Associated Press. In August, the USDA announced the first confirmed cases  of the virus in mink at farms in Utah. There has since been a confirmed case in Wisconsin. 

After several mink recently exhibited signs of illness and died on the Michigan farm, the owner submitted specimens from the animals for diagnosis. The Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory said the animals tested positive.

The farm is self-contained, has few staff, and prohibits domestic animals from being onsite, according to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. That makes it unlikely the virus moving to wildlife, pets, or people, officials added.