Ag Briefs: Brown Co. man dies after being pinned under tractor

Wisconsin State Farmer
Midwest briefs


Brown Co. man dies after being pinned under tractor

A Brown County man is dead after he was pinned under a tractor in his yard Saturday morning.

According to the Brown County Sheriff's Department, the man was loading the tractor onto a trailer at about 8:30 a.m. when it missed the loading ramps and rolled over, pinning him.

Emergency workers pronounced the man dead at the scene, according to Lt. Scott Vande Voort of the Sheriff’s Department.

The man's name and location of the incident are being withheld until family members are notified.


Worst fall armyworm outbreak in decades

Fall armyworms are on the march, damaging pastures and row crops in what University of Missouri entomologist Kevin Rice tells Brownfield Ag News is the worst outbreak in 30 years.

Rice said the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast are becoming inundated with fall armyworms.

“They do eat grass, they eat soybean, they eat corn. They eat over sixty plants so they’re sort of like eating machines. In fact, they’re one of the fastest growing  animals on Earth.”

And it’s getting harder to stop them, he says, because of their resistance to pyrethroids and alternatives are in short supply. He says growers should scout NOW,

“Contact your supply chain for chemicals and get ready to spray. There are some chemicals that are effective.”

Rice says fall army worms have flown in on the jet stream and overwintered in Florida and Texas which both had mild winters. Because it’s dry in most areas, they’re thriving and their natural enemies are not.


Hurricane Ida shutters ag exports

Hurricane Ida packed a punch of 150 mph winds this weekend, leaving more than 1 million people in New Orleans without power. In the process, the monster storm crippled some grain shipping facilities in a key export area along the lower Mississippi River, creating concerns over how long export activity could be shuttered.

The shipping issues caused by Hurricane Ida could have a major impact on the overall export picture. The Port of South Louisiana is a major shipping hub, as it's the largest grain port in the United States. Grain elevators within the Port handle more than 50% of all U.S. grain exports annually, Farm Journal reported.

Fears surfaced in the markets Monday as questions started to circulate over just how long the supply chains and river facilities will be disrupted in the lower Mississippi River area. According to STC, the lower Mississippi River is by far the largest export region for soybeans (61%) and corn (58%).


WBPA to host fall conference

The Wisconsin Bison Producers Association is hosting its fall conference on October 15-17, 2021 in Hudson, Wisconsin.

The conference speakers include Jim Matheson, Asst. Director of the National Bison Association, who will present “Bison 101: An Introduction to Basics of Bison Production”. In addition, John Halstead, manager of Turner Enterprises Fawn Lake Ranch, will present “Bison Handling: Low Stress for Success”. Wayne Lautsbaugh, owner of Crescent Meats, Cadott, Wis., will discuss the status of meat processing in the current market.

The conference concludes with a ranch tour of Jeremy Allemann’s Big Creek Bison in Baldwin, Wisconsin.

Registration is required for this event. For more information and to register please contact Rebecca Ries at 920-923-2028 or or check the WBPA Website


USDA announces foreign animal disease protection zone

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced they are preparing to establish a foreign animal disease protection zone in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

African swine fever (ASF) has not been detected in these countries, but out of an abundance of caution, APHIS is taking this step to further safeguard the U.S. swine herd and protect the interests of pork producers.

Dr. Patrick Webb, Acting Chief Veterinarian for the National Pork Board said prevention efforts are already in place in Puerto Rico, but formal designation from the World Organization for Animal Health allows USDA to seek zone recognition from trading partners prior to an outbreak, so the U.S. may continue to export pork if ASF is detected in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.


RockGen gas plant to be sold to Dairyland Power 

The La Crosse-based Dairyland Power Cooperative announced it has entered into a purchase agreement to acquire the RockGen Energy Center, a 503 megawatt (MW) natural gas power plant located in Cambridge, Wis., from an affiliate of Starwood Energy Group Global, LLC. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of 2021.

Dairyland Power CEO and President Brent Ridge said RockGen will help the company meet its members’ power supply needs as they transition to more renewable resources, referring to the closure of its coal-fired Genoa Station #3 plant this year, according to a news release.

Operational since 2001, the RockGen Energy Center is a simple-cycle, dual fuel power generating facility that operates mainly on natural gas. 


India clears pathway for U.S. soy imports

For the benefit of Indian poultry, aquaculture and livestock farmers and industry, the Government of India this week formally cleared 1.2 MMT of imported soybean meal derived from transgenic soybeans.

The American Soybean Association says the milestone announcement comes in response to soybean meal prices rocketing approximately 278% in 2021, overwhelming domestic industry pressure organized in part by USSEC and USSEC’s Right to Protein initiative, which called attention to the protein deficiency in India—and follows USSEC’s sustained and increasing engagement and advocacy over the years.


Danone to terminate organic milk contracts in Northeast

Global food company Danone has given a year’s notice to 89 organic dairy farms in the Northeast that it will stop buying their milk on Aug. 31, 2022, Food & Environment Reporting Network said.

The decision is just the latest squeeze on organic dairy producers, who face rising costs and pressures to consolidate. Maine Gov. Janet Mills said Danone’s decision “is a devastating setback for Maine’s organic dairy community.”

Danone North America, owner of Horizon Organic, said it had sent non-renewal notices to 89 producers in the Northeast, saying it was "supporting new partners that better align with our manufacturing footprint.”


USDA updates mask guidance for livestock, poultry producers

Meat and egg producers must require all employees and contractors to wear masks or the USDA will withdraw all Inspection Program Personnel from producer establishments, the Michigan Farm Bureau reported.

The recent notice from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service requires meat, poultry, and egg establishments to follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and for employees to wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

The announcement puts producers in a pinch as they look at possible closure for failure to follow guidelines, said Ernie Birchmeier, livestock and dairy specialist for the Michigan Farm Bureau.

Nearly all Michigan counties are deemed to have substantial or high community transmission of COVID-19, so the notice applies to them.


Sugar growers sue US over Florida reservoir water levels

Sugar growers in Florida are suing the U.S, Army Corps of Engineers over proposed reservoir water levels they say will be far too low.

The federal lawsuits filed this week by Florida Crystals' Okeelanta Corp., U.S. Sugar and the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative say the current Corps plan won't supply enough water for their fields.

Jacksonville Commander Col. Andrew Kelly defended the Corps' work, saying the agency will balance water supply for both the environment and farmers.