Ag Briefs: 83-year-old injured in farm crash

Wisconsin State Farmer
Midwest briefs


World Dairy Expo sees drop in attendance

World Dairy Expo wrapped up its 54th show earlier this month. Show officials released attendance figures, noting that 48,502 people attended this year’s 5-day event, with 46% of attendees listed as farmers. This represents about a 30% drop in attendance from the 2019 pre-pandemic show.

Among those visiting the Alliant Energy Center grounds in Madison, Wis., were over 400 attendees representing 48 countries including Mexico, Colombia, Canada, Pakistan and Venezuela.

The trade show was supported by 663 vendors, 89 of which were new to WDE. Those vendors hailed from 19 countries, 7 Canadian provinces and 41 U.S. states.

The stars of the show were the 2,306 head of cattle housed on the grounds shown by 1,566 dairy exhibitors from 32 U.S. state, 5 Canadian provinces, the U.K. and Italy. There were 394 Holsteins at the show, followed by 375 Jerseys, 343 Brown Swiss, 334 Red & Whites, 266 Ayrshires, 228 Jr. Holsteins, 208 Milking Shorthorns and 192 Guernseys.

Forty-nine lots at the World Classic 2021 Holstein Sale brought in total sales of $2,168,200, with sales averaging $44,249. The highest lot sold for $220,000.  Thirty lots entered in the Champion Dairy Product Contest netted a total of $36,817.


Kissel inducted into National 4-H Hall of Fame

Nancy Kissel of Sheboygan, Wisconsin was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame on October 12 for her lifetime achievements and contributions to 4-H.  

Honored by the University of Wisconsin – Madison and the Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development Program, Kissel was one of 20 people inducted during the ceremony held at the Kellogg Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. 

The National 4-H Hall of Fame honorees are nominated by their home states, National 4-H Council; the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals (NAE4-HYDP); or the Division of Youth and 4-H, United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA)National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) based upon their exceptional leadership at the local, state, national and international levels. 


83-year-old injured in farm crash

A man was injured Friday in Hazel Green after the vehicle he was driving collided with a combine.

According to WMTV, Korey Reed, 40, was driving a combine for Briggs Farm and Cattle on County Road Z and turned southbound onto County ZZ. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office reported that the combine collided with a vehicle driven by 83-year-old Cyril Schulting Jr.

Authorities say Reed did not see Schulting’s vehicle. The impact of the collision sent the car about 30 yards down the road.

The Grant Co. Sheriff’s Office says Schulting was trapped, but officials were able to free him. EMS officials took him to a local hospital for his injuries.


2021 Wisconsin Cranberry Board election results

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has certified the 2021 Wisconsin Cranberry Board election results. Gabriella Liddane of Tomah and Robert N. Detlefsen of Wisconsin Rapids have been re-elected and will serve another three-year term as elected members of the Wisconsin Cranberry Board.

The Wisconsin Cranberry Board is composed of seven producers from across the state. The board oversees the collection and use of about $500,000 in assessment fees paid by Wisconsin cranberry producers. This funding is used to support the cranberry industry through research, education, and promotion of Wisconsin-grown cranberries.


Jet fuel offers major new demand potential for farmers

America’s corn and soybean farmers are on the precipice of a whole new market for their commodities, Agri-Pulse reported. If Congress comes through, farmers will be helping fuel the airplanes that crisscross the world’s skies by providing the feedstocks for sustainable aviation fuels.

U.S. companies are already investing in the expensive process of turning corn and soybeans into sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF. The Biden administration says it wants to see a lot more of the finished product, but there’s still plenty of uncertainty as lawmakers debate whether or not ag-based fuels will be eligible for new tax credits.

It’s unclear just how much demand for corn and soybeans would be if ag-based ethanol, isobutanol and renewable diesel became core feedstocks for jet fuel, but it could be significant based on estimates from one company.


Harvest continues onward

Already one quarter of the state's corn harvest for grain has been complete with 95% of silage in bunkers, bags and silos - 11 days ahead of the average. Moisture content of field corn harvested for grain was 21 percent.

Soybeans dropping leaves or beyond reached 97 percent, with reporters noting that the harvest was 47% complete. Soybean condition rated 73% good to excellent.

Potato harvest was 82 percent complete, with 47% of the winter wheat crop emerged. Hay equipment was ready for storage as farmers wrapped up fourth crop.


Fertilizer Research Council funds Over $100K for UW Projects

The Wisconsin Fertilizer Research Council is providing over $100,000 for University of Wisconsin (UW) research projects. Researchers will use the funding to study soil management, soil fertility, plant nutrition, surface and groundwater quality, and other activities that promote the correct use of fertilizer.

Projects directly benefit farmers and the results are shared to help make decisions about fertilizer application. 

New research projects and their funding amount for this year include: Carrie Laboski, UW-Madison Department of Soil Science: Long-term PK trial to evaluate sustainable crop production in Wisconsin 2021-23 ($47,052); Matt Ruark, UW-Madison Department of Soil Science: Nitrogen availability of fall applied manure in a sustainably intensive silage system ($26,765); Growth and nutrient uptake patterns of russet varieties of potato ($13,460); Yi Wang, UW-Madison Department of Horticulture: Evaluating groundwater nitrogen crediting and reutilization for potato production in central Wisconsin ($25,800).


Alliant Energy completes its first community solar installation

Wisconsin utility Alliant Energy said that it has completed its first-ever community solar project in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, just north of Milwaukee.

First announced in December 2020, the 1 MW installation is located on land leased from the local Michels Corporation, a utility contractor. It is expected to generate enough electricity to fulfill the energy needs of 1,000 customers.

Michels also serves as the anchor tenant of the project, signing up for a significant portion of capacity, while still leaving enough open for other interested customers.

The project is the first under Alliant’s community solar program, which provides subscribed customers with a credit on their monthly electric bills for every block of energy purchased, PV Magazine reported. 


Jury rules in favor of Monsanto in child's cancer case

A California jury has ruled in favor of Monsanto in a case claiming its glyphosate product Roundup caused a young boy’s rare form of cancer.

The jury found exposure to Roundup was not a substantial factor in 10-year-old Ezra Clark contracting a Burkitt’s lymphoma.

Bayer, which owns Monsanto, says the verdict is consistent with “the assessments of expert regulators worldwide as well as the overwhelming weight of four decades of extensive science,” Brownfield Ag News reported.

Bayer says it has great sympathy for Ezra Clark and his family but the jury carefully considered the science in his case and determined Roundup did not cause his illness. This is the first Roundup cancer-related case Monsanto has won of those that have gone to trial.


Minnesota halts deer importation, movement within state

Minnesota imposed an emergency order Monday blocking the importation and movement of deer into and within the state to slow the spread of chronic wasting disease from deer farms and protect the state's wild deer herd.

The decision came after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported last month that a Wisconsin deer farm where the disease was detected sold nearly 400 deer to 40 farms across seven states, including Minnesota, in the past five years.

The Minnesota DNR said it learned Sept. 27 that Minnesota farms received five deer from the Wisconsin farm. 


U.S., China container shipping rates plummet, backlog of unfilled orders grows

As backlogs at U.S. ports and climbing shipping rates plague the supply chain, new data shows shipping rates between the U.S and China are dropping by more than 50% in just a month. 

AgDay TV reports that data provided by digital freight forwarding company Shifl shows China/U.S. spot freight rates, for shipping a 40-foot container from China to Los Angeles, dropped by $9,000. That's a 51-percent drop between September and October.

Experts say China is slowing production due to a power crisis and the off-season coming into view, but issues remain due to a growing backlog of unfulfilled orders.

Earlier this week, AgDay reported that Port officials say strong American consumer demand has continued unabated for more than a year, as the Port of Los Angeles has seen a 30% increase in cargo volume so far this year. That's as exports from the Port of Los Angeles dropped 23% in August. 

It's impacting agriculture in the U.S. because of record-high shipping rates. That’s coupled with the fact that some shipping lines are working to get empty containers back to factories in Asia as quick as possible.


Oat-killing drought is signaling inflation for breakfast staples

A drought struck North America’s oat fields this season, and farmers are harvesting such a small crop that prices have risen to record highs, signaling inflation for breakfast staples like oatmeal and trendy alternative milk, Bloomberg reported.

Severe hot and dry weather probably slashed oat production by nearly half to an 11-year low in Canada, the world’s biggest exporter. Similarly in the U.S., one of the world’s top consumers of the grain, the harvest will be the smallest ever. The result is all-time high costs that will likely filter down to consumers.

The situation for North American farmers was so dire in the summer that many cut their losses and harvested damaged plants to be sold as feed for animals. That means even less will be available for making popular foods like granola bars and Cheerios.

General Mills was able to secure enough North American oats to maintain volume of its ultra-important brand, thanks to its scale and “longstanding relationships,” said Jon Nudi, president of North American retail at the company. 

While major food companies haven’t announced price increases related to oat products yet, the higher costs for the grain can only add to the food inflation that’s been rampant this year.


Former tobacco field where MLK Jr worked to be preserved

A plot of land in Connecticut, once a thriving tobacco farm where Martin Luther King Jr. worked as a college student in the 1940s, will be protected for its historic and cultural significance to the state's civil rights history.

Last month's finalized sale of the 288-acre parcel of land was announced Friday. The nonprofit Trust for Public Land and the town of Simsbury plan to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 16 for the Meadowood site, Associated Press reported.

Nearly 130 acres of the land will be set aside for recreational access and roughly 120 acres for working farmland. The rest will be saved for future needs of the town of Simsbury while two acres will be kept for historic preservation purposes to tell the history of the property.

In what began as a citizens petition drive, Simsbury voters in May overwhelmingly authorized $2.5 million to purchase the property. Various state agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the George Dudley Seymour Trust, individuals and foundations have provided an additional $4 million in funding for the site.