Ag Briefs: Two injured in truck vs. tractor crash

Wisconsin State Farmer
Wisconsin briefs


Two injured in truck vs. tractor crash

Two people escaped serious injury in a two-vehicle crash in the town of Taycheedah on Nov. 5.

According to the Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office, a pickup truck was traveling north on Hwy 151, south of Kiekhaefer Pkwy., when it struck the rear of a tractor towing a disk and a manure boom, pushing the tractor into the ditch.

The pickup driver, a 31 year old Green Bay man, and a male passenger received minor injuries. The tractor operator from Chilton was not injured.

Alcohol and speed were believed to be factors in the crash.


More than 120 birds killed in Wisconsin barn fire

Twenty laying hens and at least 100 peafowl died at Abendroth Hatchery in the Dodge County town of Portland, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

At least 100 peafowl as well as 20 laying hens died when a fire destroyed a barn Friday, Oct. 5 at . The Waterloo fire department was paged at 9:02 a.m. to the Abendroth Hatchery at N363 Hubbleton Rd.

The barn was fully involved when firefighters arrived on the scene. Petrie said nearly 20 area fire departments responded to the scene. One farmhand received minor burns, but declined treatment at the scene. There were no other injuries.

Petrie said the barn was a total loss and damage is estimated at $180,000. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

According to the Abendroth Hatchery website, the family-owned business hatches 15,000 birds a week and ships poultry throughout the United States including chickens, ducks and turkeys.


WI corn production yield hits 172 bu/acre

Wisconsin corn production is forecast at 506 million bushels according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service - Crop Production report. Based on conditions as of Nov. 1, yields are expected to average 172.0 bushels per acre, unchanged from the October 1 forecast but down 1.0 bushel per acre from last year.

Corn planted acreage is estimated at 3.95M acres, with an estimated 2.94M acres to be harvested for grain.

Soybean production is forecast at 112B bushels. The yield is forecast at 54.0 bushels per acre, unchanged from the October forecast but up 2.0 bushels from 2020. Soybean planted acreage is estimated at 2.10M acres with 2.07 million acres to be harvested.

The next corn and soybean production estimates will be published in the Crop Production - Annual Summary report which will be released January 12, 2022.


WI to host premier educational event for dairy students

The North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC) and Dairy Challenge Academy is coming to Northeast Wisconsin on March 30-April 2, 2021.

More than 200 students from 36 colleges across the U.S. will put their textbook knowledge to work by evaluating a dairy operation and developing recommendations.

NAIDC is an innovative event for students in dairy programs at North American post-secondary institutions.

Contest participants will evaluate an operating dairy farm, analyze farm data and ask questions of farm owners. Each team then develops recommendations which will be presented to the farm owners and a panel of judges. Students will also participate in educational and networking activities such as farm tours, research presentations and agribusiness interaction in a career fair.


Schriefer to serve as state Executive Director for USDA’s FSA

Eugene Schriefer has been appointed as the new State Executive Director (SED) for the USDA Wisconsin Farm Service Agency (FSA). Schriefer joined the Wisconsin FSA team on Nov. 8, 2021.

According to the USDA, Schriefer served as a Senior Outreach Specialist with the UW-Madison Extension Division and has worked as an Agriculture Educator in Iowa County since 2009. He engages with farmers on sustainability, soil health, regenerative agriculture, regional food systems, and climate change.

Previously, he was a regional grazing specialist with Southwest Badger Resource Conservation and Development. He has also served as an Extension 4-H Youth Development Agent in Rusk and Columbia Counties.

He will be responsible for overseeing the delivery of FSA programs to agricultural producers in Wisconsin.


Environmental groups rally to stop construction of controversial power line

Last Monday, American Transmission Co., ITC Midwest and Dairyland Power Cooperative, co-owners of the $492M Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line, announced they were beginning work on the eastern segment of the 345-kilovolt power line in Dane County.

The line would stretch from there for 102 miles to Dubuque County in Iowa. The project's owners say it will help connect renewable energy to the regional power grid, support carbon reduction goals and relieve congestion on the system, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.

The transmission line is the target of multiple legal challenges in state and federal court brought by the Driftless Area Land Conservancy and Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. 

Opponents say the project, with its nearly 20-story tall towers, threaten farms, rural communities, the refuge and the scenic landscape of the Driftless Area in southern Wisconsin.

U.S. District Judge William Conley granted a preliminary injunction to prevent construction in and around federal waters, agreeing that environmental groups are likely to suffer "irreparable" environmental harm.

A ruling in the federal case is expected within the next 30 to 60 days, and the injunction will remain in effect until then.


FFA Alumni cash raffle celebrates 50th anniversary

To celebrate its 50th anniversary as an organization, the Wisconsin FFA Alumni & Supporters is selling raffle tickets for cash awards ranging from $500 to $10,000. Profits from the event will benefit FFA members, local ag education programs and scholarships.

Winners will be announced during the group's annual convention The drawing will take place at the group's annual convention in February, Wisconsin Ag Connection reported.

All of the profits from the raffle will be used to help local agriculture education programs, FFA members and scholarships, according to the group's website.

To purchase your raffle To purchase raffle tickets contact or call 715-937-4838.

Winners will be announced at the 50th Alumni & Supporters Convention on Feb. 5, 2022. Need not be present to win. 


Ukrainian arrested in JBS SA cyberattack

A suspected Ukrainian hacker has been arrested and charged in the United States in connection with a string of costly ransomware attacks, including one that snarled businesses around the globe on the Fourth of July weekend, Associated Press reported.

Yaroslav Vasinskyi was arrested last month after traveling to Poland, according to the Justice Department, which also announced the recovery of $6.1 million in ill-gotten funds from a Russian national who was separately charged and remains sought by the FBI.

Both men are alleged to be affiliated with the prolific Russia-based REvil ransomware gang, whose attacks have compromised tens of thousands of computers worldwide and yielded at least $200 million in ransom payments, said Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Victims have included the world's largest meat processor, JBS SA, and a technology company called Kaseya, which was hit in a holiday weekend attack last July  that the company said affected between 800 and 1,500 businesses that relied on its software.


Harvest heads down the home stretch

With nearly a week of good weather, farmers raced towards the finish line with this year's harvest and fall field work, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Seventy-six percent of corn for grain was harvested, 1 day ahead of last year and 12 days ahead of the 5-year average. Moisture content was reported at 18 percent.

Soybean harvest was 93 percent complete. Winter wheat was 92 percent emerged. Winter wheat condition rated 80 percent good to excellent, 1 percentage point above last week.

Fall tillage was 61 percent complete, 3 days ahead of last year and 12 days ahead of the 5-year average.


DBIA announces Dairy Industry Impact Grant recipients

The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA), a partnership between the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA), announced the four companies and cooperatives which, via a competitive review process, have been selected to receive Dairy Industry Impact grants totaling more than $600,000.

The Dairy Industry Impact grant was designed to attract medium to large dairy companies to develop an innovative idea or tackle a challenge with the potential to advance the dairy industry. The Industry Impact program awards reimbursable grants ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 for USDA-eligible expenses related to a company’s proposed project. This is the first cycle for the Dairy Industry Impact grant.

Cedar Grove Cheese - Plain, WI, will scale up a model, liquid waste-to-fertilizer system for small dairy processors. This solution will convert wash water into marketable fertilizer, which is expected to be relatively affordable for small and medium size dairy plants.

GoodSport Nutrition - Evanston, IL, will raise consumer awareness regarding the ability of dairy products to deliver effective hydration before, during and after exercise, opening the door for dairy products to access the $8.3 billion plus sports beverage market. 

Milk Specialties Global - Eden Prairie, MN, will evaluate the potential nutritional benefits of a low-value dairy by-product in animal feed. If successful, the expected nutritional benefits will create both a new market and higher price for commodity items.

Specialty Cheese Company - Reeseville, WI, a consortium, headed by Specialty Cheese Company, will provide market access services for a group of small cheese producers to increase export opportunities via consolidated shipments to the Middle East and Japan. This will increase the competitiveness of small Wisconsin cheese producers by reducing shipping costs and providing export expertise.

AUCKLAND, New Zealand

Hershey teams up with The a2 Milk Co. to create co-branded chocolate milk

The a2 Milk Company and Hershey have teamed up to create a co-branded chocolate milk combining Hershey's cocoa with 2% reduced fat milk containing only A2 beta-casein protein, food reported.

The chocolate milk – set to launch in January 2022 in 59 oz refrigerated cartons and 8 oz shelf stable packs – "is the latest example of how we are expanding The Hershey Company in to expanded better-for-you categories," said Ernie Savo, senior director of global licensing at Hershey. 

The New Zealand-based company developed a genetic test to identify cows that only produce A2 beta casein protein which is marketed as being a more “tummy-friendly” option.


Iowa Co. man vying for auctioneer title

Fast talker Jacob Hills is hoping to make the cut when he competes during a regional qualifying round in Cherokee, OK on Nov. 10.

Hills, who works for Equity Cooperative in Richland Center and Monroe, will square off in a field of 30 auctioneers hoping to move on to the semi-finals for the 2022 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship Contest, according to Wisconsin Ag Connection.

Each qualifying event is a live sale where each contestant auctions eight drafts of livestock to actual bidders. Contestants are judged on the clarity of their auction chant; professionalism; and their ability to conduct the sale while catching bids.


Aww, cheese: Mississippi State dairy hits holiday mail limit

Mississippi State University says it has already taken all the cheese orders it can handle for the holiday season.

The Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station's dairy processing plant has been making cheese for 83 years. The original plan was to take this year's holiday orders until mid-November.

But, the university said in a news release Wednesday that a software system failure has brought ordering to a halt. The 15,000 existing orders will be fulfilled and should be delivered as expected. But the system cannot take any more orders for now.

ldog Shop in Meridian. The university says online ordering could resume in January.

The dairy processing plan produces 50,000 balls of Edam cheese a year. It also makes cheese spreads and cheddar, jalapeno and Vallagret cheeses.