Ag Briefs: Man seriously injured following collision with milk tanker

Wisconsin State Farmer
National briefs

MILAN, IL

UAW member hit, killed near John Deere picket line

A vehicle struck and killed a United Auto Workers member on Oct. 27 as he was walking to a picket line to join striking workers outside a John Deere distribution plant in northwest Illinois, the union and police said.

The 56-year-old man was struck as he was crossing the Rock Island-Milan Parkway at Deere Drive. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

While the incident is under investigation, authorities do not believe the accident was intentional.

FOND DU LAC, WI

DNR confirms CWD detected in Fond Du Lac Co.

A baiting and feeding ban has been renewed In Fond Du Lac And Winnebago counties following the confirmation of a wild deer testing positive for chronic wasting disease in the Town of Eldorado in north-central Fond du Lac County, within 10 miles of the Winnebago County border.

A local landowner reported the deer, an adult doe, to the department in early October. The deer showed outward signs of disease and possible injury by car collision. This is the first wild deer detection in Fond du Lac County.

Baiting and feeding were already banned in Fond du Lac County and Winnebago counties due to CWD detections in adjoining counties within 10 miles of the county line. This most recent detection will extend the ban for three years in Fond du Lac County and for two years in Winnebago County.

BARABOO, WI

Equity Altoona market receives organic certification

Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association announce that its Altoona market is now certified organic. Approval was granted by Nature’s International Certification Services (NICS), USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP).

The cooperative’s Bonduel, Sparta and Stratford markets have been certified and are providing organic cattle sales. The process allows the coops to provide producers with alternative livestock marketing options.

Equity does not charge extra for this service with organic cattle selling at the same commission as conventional livestock.

WASHINGTON D.C.

WI FB honored for outstanding work in communications

The American Farm Bureau Federation recently honored top communications professionals from state Farm Bureau organizations for their outstanding work in communications.

This year’s contest featured 198 submissions for work produced in 2019 and 2020, with separate awards in each category for work primarily related to COVID and projects focused on other subjects.

Amy Eckelberg of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation won for Best Promotional or Education Video or Ad (Non-COVID). Ecklelberg and colleagues, Lynn Siekmann, Cassie Sonnentag, Sarah Hetke, Wendy Kannel were tapped for top honors in the division of Best Public Relations Campaign (Non-COVID).

Fond du Lac, WI

Man seriously injured following collision with milk tanker

A Lomira man was seriously injured on Nov. 4 when the car he was driving struck a milk tanker that was backing into a driveway on County D north of Oakfield.

The Fond du Lac Sheriff’s Office say the tanker was blocking the southbound lane when the 33 year old man’s vehicle struck the tanker, becoming lodged underneath the trailer. The man had to be extricated from the vehicle and flown from the scene to a trauma center. The 70 year old driver of the semi was uninjured.

Authorities attribute the crash to unsafe backing of the semi-trailer by the driver. The Lomira man was arrested on suspicion of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. The crash remains under investigation.

MADISON, WI

Export bill heads to Governor's desk

A bill that would increase state ag exports just needs Gov. Tony Evers' signature. Legislation that aims to increase Wisconsin agricultural exports is heading to the governor's desk.

The bill authored by Sen. Joan Ballweg and Rep. Tony Kurtz won unanimous approval from the State Senate this week. The legislation creates a new five-year initiative led by the Wisconsin DATCP in partnership with the WEDC to increase the export of the state's dairy, meat and other agricultural products by 25 percent, Wisconsin Ag Connection reported.

The bill specifies that $2.5 million, or half the total funds appropriated, will be used to increase the export sales of milk, cheese, yogurt, whey, and other dairy products. Last year, Wisconsin exported $3.37 billion worth of agricultural and food products to 145 countries.

KIEL, WI

Corn dryer fire remains under investigation

Firefighters from more than a dozen departments remained on the scene form ore than three hours on Nov. 3 for a corn dryer fire in Kiel.

Emergency crews responded to the scene around 1:30 p.m. for reports of heavy smoke at the rear of Country Visions Cooperative. KFIZ reported that the height of the corn dryer made it necessary for ladder trucks from the Kiel and New Holstein Fire Departments to be deployed. No one was injured.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

MADISON, WI

Half of fall tillage completed

Harvest continues ahead of schedule for both corn and soybeans, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Well over half of the corn for grain has been harvested while the soybean harvest was 84% complete, 7 days behind last year but 6 days ahead of the average.

Winter wheat was 97% with 85% of the crop already emerged. Fall tillage was over half completed, 12 days ahead of the 5-year average.

POSTVILLE, IA

Meat processing co. fined $28K for violations tied to explosion

A northeast Iowa kosher meat processing company must pay the state a combined $28,415 in fines for safety violations tied to an explosion that rocked its plant last winter and injured three workers.

The Iowa OSHA said the Feb. 15 explosion at Agri Star Meat & Poultry sent two of the workers to the hospital. The company employs 525 workers that process cattle, chickens and turkeys.

OSHA records show that a forklift driver was moving cages filled with chickens from a truck trailer at the company's live poultry dock when the machine slid and punctured a 100-lb. propane tank. One of four cylinders being used to fuel heaters in the area, it released a cloud of gas that ignited, possibly by contact with a nearby tube heater, resulting in the explosion.

The OSHA inspector said the dock was covered in ice, dirt, bird feathers, water and turkey manure, a serious violation that resulted in a $11,366 penalty.

KANSAS CITY, MO

Wisconsinites win national honors in beef shows

Lauren May of Mineral Point, WI, was among Hereford exhibitors honored for their outstanding breeding programs during the Ladies of the Royal sale hosted at the American Royal in Kansas City, Mo., Oct 23.

May won Horned National Show Female of the Year with PURPLE Iris 145G ET. Iris also topped the Northeast Region Awards in her category Horned Show Female of the Year.

Klayton Lorentz, Woodville, Wis., earned the National Junior Angus Association’s (NJAA) Bronze and Silver awards.

MADISON, WI

Meat processor grant application period open through Jan. 14

The Wisconsin DATCP invites Wisconsin meat processors to apply for new meat processor grants through January 14, 2022. The meat processing grant program aims to grow Wisconsin’s meat industry and improve the long-term viability of the state’s livestock industry.

Eligible applicants must operate or intend to operate a DATCP or USDA licensed meat-processing establishment in Wisconsin and be engaged in livestock harvest or processing. Projects must increase harvest capacity or production.

Funding from these grants can be used for operating expenses directly related to the grant project, including expenses for engineering, architectural design, construction, food safety consultation, equipment, and equipment installation.

DATCP will award grants for up to $50,000 for projects that are up to two years in duration and help expand capacity or increase throughput. Processors are required to provide a match of 100 percent of the grant amount. Recipients will be chosen through a competitive selection process.

Applications are due to DATCP Grants Manager Ryan Dunn at ryand.dunn@wisconsin.gov by 5 p.m. on Friday, January 14, 2022. Questions about the grant process can also be directed to Ryan.The grant application and materials are available at https://bit.ly/3BjGxQA.

CHICAGO, IL

Farmer sentiment weakens amid rising concerns of a cost-price squeeze

The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer recorded a drop in producer sentiment in October, down 3 points to a reading of 121. The modest drop was part of a three-month slide for the index primarily due to producers’ weakened perceptions for both current and future conditions in the production agriculture sector.

The Index of Current Conditions was down 5 points to a reading of 140, while the Index of Future Expectations fell 2 points to a reading of 114.

“Recent weakness in farmer sentiment appears to be driven by a wide variety of issues, with concerns about input price rises topping the list,” said James Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture. “Rapid run-ups in input prices, especially fertilizer for crop production, are giving rise to concerns among producers about their operating margins weakening. Livestock producers are also concerned about a cost-price squeeze, especially in the pork and dairy sectors.”

WASHINGTON D.C.

NAMI: COVID protections successfully lower infection rate

The North American Meat Institute released updated analysis of publicly available data on COVID-19 transmission, showing that comprehensive protections instituted in meat plants since the spring of 2020 successfully lowered transmission among meatpacking workers and held case rates today to more than 98% lower than case rates in the general U.S. population.

NAMI President and CEO Julie Anna Potts said "comprehensive measures implemented since spring 2020, including extensive infection prevention and vaccination efforts, have successfully protected the sector’s dedicated and diverse workforce."

WASHINGTON D.C.

USDA provides $1.8B to offset market fluctuations

The USDA is in the process of issuing $1.8B in payments to agricultural producers who enrolled in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2020 crop year.

These payments provide critical support tohelp mitigate fluctuations in either revenue or prices for certain crops. These two USDA safety-net programs help producers of certain crops build back better after facing the impacts of COVID-19 and other challenges.

In addition, USDA’s Farm Service Agency is encouraging producers to contact their local USDA Service Centers to make or change elections and to enroll for 2022 ARC or PLC, providing future protections against market fluctuations. The election and enrollment period opened on Oct. 18, 2021 and runs through March 15, 2022.