Ag Briefs: Animals die in Marinette Co. barn fire

Wisconsin State Farmer
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POUND, WI

Animals perish in barn fire

Several animals died in a barn fire on Dec. 19 in Marinette County. According to the Pound Volunteer Fire Department, the barn was ablaze when firefighters from five local departments arrived on the scene around 8 p.m.

While several animals inside the structure died in the fire, most of the dairy cattle were saved. The barn was a total loss. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

ROTHSCHILD, WI

Calling all WI FFA Alumni & Supporters

Wisconsin FFA Alumni & Supporters will celebrate their 50th Anniversary at this year's annual convention and business meeting set for Feb. 4-5 at the Central Wisconsin convention and Expo Center in Rothschild, Wis.

Registration will close on Jan. 4, 2022. To register visit https://bit.ly/3EA519D.

This year's event will feature a historical perspective to view throughout the weekend. Anyone with artifacts from past conventions should contact event organizers. Local Alumni chapters are also being encouraged to bring a tri-fold display highlighting their local chapter events and programs.

During the business meeting, the state association 2022-23 Vice President will be elected followed by numerous workshops. Chapters and individuals will be recognized at the evening banquet. For more information email execdir@wisconsinffaalumni.org.

MADISON, WI

Wisconsin 2021 oat county estimates in

In 2021, Langlade County was the largest oat-producing county in Wisconsin at 360,000 bushels, according to estimates released Dec. 9 by the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Grant was the second largest producing county with 285,000 bushels, followed by Marathon with 228,000 bushels. 

Sheboygan County had the highest yield in the state with 88.8 bushels per acre. Calumet County had the second highest yield at 84.2 and Fond du Lac County had the third highest yield at 79.1 bushels per acre. Vernon County had the greatest increase in yield from 2020, with an increase of 17.4 bushels. 

The lowest yielding county was Washburn at 26.8 bushels per acre. Oconto had the second lowest yield at 37.7, and Adams was the third lowest at 43.3 bushels per acre. Oconto had the largest decrease in yield from 2020 at 27.3 bushels. 

WASHINGTON D.C.

EPA says dicamba should be available for over-the-top use

A new EPA report indicates that despite extensive dicamba drift damage this year, the herbicide should be available for over-the-top use in 2022.

The agency says there was little change in the number, severity, or geographic extent of dicamba-related incidents compared to before EPA’s October 2020 registration decision, Brownfield Ag News reported.

But in the absence of a voluntary request to cancel the products, EPA says it’s unlikely the process to correct these problems could occur ahead of the next growing season.

EPA is committing to help states looking to restrict or narrow the over-the-top uses of dicamba.

CASSELTON, N.D.

Groups to combine to build new soybean plant in N.D.

A deal has been finalized for construction of a soybean processing plant in eastern North Dakota that has been in the works for two years, Associated Press reported.

Louisiana-based CGB Enterprises, Inc. and Minnesota Soybean Processors announced that they have formed a joint venture, North Dakota Soybean Processors LLC, that will own and operate the plant. It's slated to be built in Casselton, about 25 miles west of Fargo, company officials said.

The plant is scheduled to be fully operational by 2024 and create up to 60 new jobs. It is expected to crush 42.5 million bushes of soybeans in the first year.

Groundbreaking is slated for this spring with the operation of the facility subject to various federal, state, and local permitting, infrastructure, and incentive approvals.

WASHINGTON D.C.

Port backlog improving, still big issue

The U.S. Transportation Secretary says port logistics are improving but more needs to be done.

Pete Buttigieg told Brownfield Ag News that ag exports and others have been slowed down because of port issues, like a backlog of empty containers and “long-dwelling” containers that have sat for extended periods of time.

Using the threat of fines, Buttigieg says officials have seen in some of the ports 50-60 percent reductions in the rate of those containers sitting there. However, he says ports are still being underused, risking export demand loss for ag goods.

Buttigieg says he is working with Ag Secretary Vilsack, who co-chairs the supply chain task force to find new ways to clear out some of the backlogs.

DES MOINES, IA

Bridgestone to raise price of ag tires

Bridgestone, the owner of Firestone Ag Tires, says it will increase prices starting February first to respond to current market dynamics.

Bridgestone says prices will go up as much as 14% on Bridgestone and Firestone truck and bus radial tires, off-the-road and ag tires tracks and tubes in both the U.S. and Canada, Brownfield reported. Bridgestone says its commercial sales teams are contacting customers with detailed information about the February increases.

NASHVILLE, MI

Mid-Michigan creamery's ice cream named best in nation

Moo-ville Creamery, the Nashville, Michigan-based dairy company, makes some of the best chocolate ice cream in the United States, according to the North American Ice Cream Association.

The family owned company won a blue ribbon last month at ConeCon, NICRA's annual trade show and ice cream competition. It also received a red ribbon for vanilla and a white ribbon for strawberry, the second- and third-place awards for those flavors respectively, the Lansing State Journal reports.

This year's competition was the "largest attended in recent history," according to NICRA.

So what makes Moo-ville's chocolate ice cream so utterly delicious? Westendorp said the company uses granulated sugar instead of corn syrup, which thickens the ice cream.

They also push the percentage of butterfat — the natural fat used in ice cream — up to about 16-17%.

OMAHA, NE

Rural Bankers: 83% of farmers in solid cash position

For 13 straight months, the rural economy has posted healthy and consistent growth. That’s according to the December Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) from Creighton University.

For December 2021, the RMI sits at 66.7, slightly lower from November. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with a reading of 50 representing growth neutral and is generated by a monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy. 

Ernie Goss, of Creighton’s Heider College of Business and leads the RMI said  “USDA data show that 2021 year-to-date ag exports are more than 21% above that for the same period in 2020, the Daily Scoop reported. 

WASHINGTON D.C.

Four bills from House Agriculture Committee pass in the House

Four bipartisan bills drafted and moved out of the House Agriculture Committee earlier this month, H.R. 5290; H.R. 5608; H.R. 5609; and H.R 4489, passed in the House of Representatives.

H.R. 5290 - Extends the authorization for Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) through Sept. 30, 2022, and provides American livestock producers with the certainty that USDA will continue to issue market reports that provide transparency and price discovery.

H.R. 5608- Authorizes $70M annually for FY22-28 for research and management of chronic wasting disease.

H.R. 5609 - Directs USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to establish a contract library for cattle contracts. This will provide cattle producers with more market transparency, by requiring USDA to publish reports on contracts between producers and packers for the sale of fed cattle.

H.R 4489 - Allows the U.S. Forest Service to retain interest on settlement funds and apply those additional resources to complete necessary restoration work on lands damaged by mining activities and wildfires.

JERUSALEM, Israel

Thousands of cranes killed by bird flu in northern Israel

A bird flu outbreak in northern Israel has killed at least 5,200 migratory cranes and forced farmers to slaughter hundreds of thousands of chickens as authorities try to contain what they say is the deadliest wildlife disaster in the nation's history.

Uri Naveh, a senior scientist at the Israel Parks and Nature Authority, said the situation is not yet under control. Many of the birds are dead in the middle of the water body so it's difficult for them to be taken out, he said.

Workers were removing the carcasses as quickly as possible, fearing they could infect other wildlife. 

Agriculture Ministry officials say half a million chickens in the area were being slaughtered to prevent the disease from spreading.

About 500,000 cranes pass through Israel each year on the way to Africa and a small number stay behind. This year, an estimated 30,000 cranes stayed in Israel for the winter. Officials believe that the cranes were infected by smaller birds that had contact with farms suffering from outbreaks.