Ag Briefs: UWGB designated 'Bee Campus USA'

Wisconsin State Farmer
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UWGB designated 'Bee Campus USA'

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has been designated a campus affiliate of the Bee City USA program, a recognition given to schools and cities that make efforts to support bee populations, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.

Awarded by the international nonprofit Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the designation underscores UW-Green Bay's work to conserve native pollinators and healthy ecosystems, said Amy Wolf, a professor of natural and applied sciences at UW-Green Bay and an expert on the state's native pollinators.

In Wisconsin, UW-Green Bay joins Northland College in Ashland, Lawrence University in Appleton and the UW-Stevens Point as Bee City USA campus affiliates.


Salmon trucked to Pacific due to low river levels

California officials will again truck millions of young salmon raised at fish hatcheries in the state's Central Valley agricultural region to the Pacific Ocean because projected river conditions show that the waterways the fish use to travel downstream will be historically low and warm due to increasing drought.

Officials told the Associated Press that the massive trucking operation is aimed at ensuring "the highest level of survival for the young salmon on their hazardous journey to the Pacific Ocean."

California is now in its second year of drought after a winter with little precipitation and it's the state's fourth-driest year on record, especially in the northern two-thirds of the state, according to the California Department of Water Resources. 


Just 2 seats contested on DFW board

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has certified ten nominees that are eligible for election to the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) (dba Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin). Dairy farmers in affected districts will have until May 22, 2021 to vote on these candidates.

Just two seats in District 5 and District 23 will be contested. In District 5, representing St. Croix and Dunn counties, Kay Zwald, Hammond and Randall Koller, Mondovi will square off. In District 23 representing Iowa and Lafayette counties, Jay Stauffacher, Darlington will face off against Kyle Levetzow, Dodgeville.

Other uncontested candidates are certified for the election: District 2 – Florence, Forest, Langlade, Marinette, Oconto, and Vilas counties, Connie Seefeldt, Coleman; District 8 – Marathon County, Steve Sternweis, Marshfield; District 11 – Outagamie and Winnebago counties, Daniel Hinz, Pickett; District 14 – Jackson, LaCrosse, and Trempealeau counties, Patricia Kling, Taylor; District 17 – Calumet and Manitowoc counties, Julie Maurer, Newton and District 20 – Richland and Sauk counties, Sharon Laubscher, Wonewoc.


Extension offers free poultry management webinar series

UW-Madison, Division of Extension, is offering a free webinar series designed to assist home and small scale poultry producers in their management endeavors. The series will take place on Wednesday evenings between May 12 and June 2, with each event beginning at 7 p.m. The live discussion events will feature the opportunity to ask questions of presenters.

The four sessions in this series will focus on these topics: May 12: Small flock meat chicken management; May 19: Small laying flock management; May 26: Small scale commercial poultry management and June 2: Ducks, Turkeys, Guineas, and other non-chicken poultry.

Discussion will be led by Ron Kean, UW-Madison, Division of Extension Poultry Science Specialist. Participation in any, or all, of the events in this series is free, but registration is required ahead of the event, by visiting For more info contact Reuss at or 715-732-7510.       


ROPS rebate program offered

Farmers can apply for a rebate covering up to 70% of the costs of equipping their older tractors with rollover protective structures thanks to the National Farm Medicine Center at Marshfield Clinic.

Those interested should contact the NRMC at 877-ROPS-R4U for assistance in finding options, estimating costs and purchasing the equipment. After installation, producers mail in receipts for a rebate check. 

Tractor rollovers are the single deadliest type of injury incident on farms and it is reported that of the 4.7 million tractors in the U.S. today alone, one-half of them are without rollover protection for the operator.  


WI air quality better, except for 6 counties

Most of Wisconsin has breathed cleaner air over the last several years, according to the American Lung Association. But, the group gave failing grades to six counties along Lake Michigan over smog pollution as part of its annual national report card on the state of air quality.

Overall, Wisconsin is seeing fewer days with high ozone levels. But, the report gave a failing grade to Kenosha, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine and Sheboygan counties for the highest number of days with poor air quality due to smog. That’s down from eight counties in the group’s 2018 air quality report, according to Wisconsin Public Radio. 

The scores are based on a rolling average of the number of days when ozone levels exceeded certain targets from 2017 to 2019. It did not include air quality readings during the pandemic.


Gov. Evers appoints 3 to DATCP board

Governor Tony Evers announced three appointments to six-year terms on the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Board, effective May 1, 2021. Two of the appointees, Doug Rebout and Paul Palmby, are current members of the board, and Dr. Clare Hintz is is a new appointee.

Rebout is a partner in Roger Rebout & Sons Farms near Janesville and was first appointed to the DATCP Board in July 2020. Palmby has served as President and CEO at Seneca Foods Corporation since September of 2020. 

Hintz runs Elsewhere Farm, a production permaculture farm near the south shore of Lake Superior in Herbster, Wisconsin. She is also the editor of the Journal of Sustainability Education. She succeeds Kurt Hallstrand as a member of the DATCP Board.


WPA to host annual meeting in Dells

The Wisconsin Pork Association (WPA) will host their annual meeting at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells on June 2. All Wisconsin pork producers are invited to participate in this daylong event.

There is no fee to register, but you must RSVP no later than May 21 to reserve a lunch.

Keynote speaker of the event is Dr. Neil DeBuse, DVM, founder and president of Minnesota Swine Reproduction Center PC. He will focus on the current swine health rule.

To register for the WPA annual meeting contact the WPA staff at or call the office at 608-723-7551.


Farmers to bear brunt of cuts from Colorado River

Arizona is prepared to lose about one-fifth of the water the state gets from the Colorado River in what could be the first federally declared shortage in the river that supplies millions of people in the U.S. West and Mexico, state officials said.

Arizona stands to lose more than any other state in the Colorado River basin that also takes in parts of Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Nevada and California. That's because Arizona agreed long ago to be the first in line for cuts in exchange for federal funding for a canal system to deliver the water to Arizona's major metropolitan areas.

The Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Central Arizona Project, which manages the canal system, said the anticipated reductions will be painful, but the state has prepared for decades for a shortage through conservation, water banking, partnerships and other efforts.

Farmers in central Arizona's Pinal County, who already have been fallowing land amid the ongoing drought and improving wells to pump groundwater in anticipation of the reductions, will bear the brunt of the cuts, Associated Press reported.

Most farms there are family farms that are among the state's top producers of livestock, dairy, cotton, barley, wheat and alfalfa. In Pinal County, up to 40% of farmland that relies on Colorado River water could be fallowed over the next few years.


New resources to help youth stay safe in agriculture

The beginning of another growing season and the end of school means many children and young adults will soon play a more active role in their family farms, or as hired help.

Balanced against the positives of children doing farm work (such as development of work ethic and self-esteem, earned money) there are serious risks. During the past decade, more youth have died working in agriculture than all other industries combined.

Three new safety resource booklets – covering farm equipment operation, working with animals and gardening – provide guidelines that can help adults assign age- and ability-appropriate tasks to young people.

The guidelines are pulled from the Agricultural Youth Work Guidelines, developed by the National Children’s Center and covering more than 50 commonly performed tasks. Each guideline contains details about common hazards, important protective strategies and the roles adults play in ensuring a safe work environment.

To request a print copy of any of the booklets, please email with your name and shipping information. The booklets can be accessed at


EU nations put mealworms on the menu

Dried yellow mealworms could soon be hitting supermarket shelves and restaurants across Europe.

The European Union's 27 nations gave the greenlight Tuesday to a proposal to put the Tenebrio molitor beetle's larvae on the market as a "novel food."

The move came after the EU's food safety agency published a scientific opinion this year that concluded worms were safe to eat. Researchers said the worms, either eaten whole or in powdered form, are a protein-rich snack or an ingredient for other foods.


US halts Mexico shrimp imports on sea turtle concerns

Mexico said it will try to regain U.S. certification for shrimp exports, after the country lost its registration because of inadequate protections for sea turtles. 

Mexico's agriculture department said it will take corrective measures and carry out training to ensure Mexican trawl-net shrimp boats don't sweep up sea turtles as by-catch. The department said the U.S. ban coincides with the closure of Mexico's shrimp fishing season.

Mexico had required fishermen to install sea-turtle-exclusion devices on shrimp nets. But the U.S. State Department said Friday that Mexico no longer met U.S. standards on the issue, according to Associated Press. 

Most of Mexico's wild shrimp catch is exported to the United States.