Ag Briefs: Borden DePere plant to cease fluid production

Wisconsin State Farmer
Midwest briefs


State poultry movement ban amended by DATCP

State ag officials have modified a recent ban on transporting and showing poultry. The Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection issued a new order that replaces the April 7 order.

Instead of just prohibiting poultry to events, shows, exhibitions and swap meets, the new order's ban now extends to all domestic birds.

The new order applies to any avian species held in captivity, including poultry, ratites, pet birds, and farm-raised game birds that have not been released into the wild.

The new order will remain in effect until 30 days after the last detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza among domestic flocks in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is up to 20 confirmed avian influenza premises with 7 of them commercial flocks. The most recent cases one a commercial turkey flock in Barron County last Friday and two backyard flocks in Dunn and Marinette Counties.


Derecho destroys farm buildings, equipment across eastern S.D.

The National Weather Service reported straight-lined winds of 70 to 100 mph in southeastern South Dakota with the storm that moved across the Midwest on May 12.

Gov. Kristi Noem, said many farms and ranches were impacted and the damages would be difficult on agriculture producers.

"We had buildings go down on herds of cattle. A lot of people had their entire farms almost wiped out. Getting anything replaced at this time of year, with our supply chain and the needs that they have to put crops in their fields, is pretty challenging," Noem said.


Peak black cutworm damage window to open May 25

Black cutworm development has accelerated with the abrupt mid-May warming trend. Beloit, currently the most advanced location in the state, has accumulated 100 growing degree days (GDDs) of the 300 GDDs needed for the black cutworm to develop from the egg stage to the damaging fourth-instar larval stage.

Based on forecast predictions for the next 10 days, and using May 4 as the biofix (the date of the first “intense” moth captures), corn growers can anticipate the peak black cutworm damage window to open May 25 in southern Wisconsin.


Wisconsin baby foxes test positive for avian influenza

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources confirmed in a news release on May 13 that several fox kits were infected with the currently circulating H5N1 strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

It’s likely the foxes contracted the virus after eating or coming into contact with infected birds in their natural environments. This detection in wild red foxes is the first report of HPAI infections in mammals in the U.S., though infections of fox kits have since been reported in Minnesota and Michigan. It was also detected in foxes in Ontario, Canada, earlier this month.

The virus was identified at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories, a diagnostic testing lab in the USDA’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service.


Six dairy farms tapped as Herds of Excellence

Six Wisconsin dairy farms were named among the winners of the 2021 Herds of Excellence by the National Holstein Association.  has released the names of the 2021 'Herds of Excellence' award winners. 

The prestigious honor recognizes dairy farmers who have met the following standards: 25 percent above breed average Mature Equivalent for milk, fat, and protein; classified animals within the last year and achieve an actual average classification score of 83 points or higher. In addition 70% of the herd must be homebred.

Small herd division: under 100 cows: B-Long Holsteins, owners Bruce, Brenda and Bret Long, New London; Doorco Holsteins, owners Dan, Julie, and Austin Vandertie, Brussels; and Ever-Green-View Holsteins, LLC, owners the Kestell Family, Waldo.

Medium herd division: 100 to 499 cows: Koepke Farms Inc., owners Koepke Family, Oconomowoc. Large herd division: over 500 cows: Bomaz Inc., owned by the Zwald Family, Hammond and Siemers Holstein Farms Inc., owned by the Siemers Family, Newton.


Biden taps Alexis Taylor for key trade role at USDA

The Biden administration has announced its nomination of Alexis Taylor to fill the post of Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.  Ag groups welcomed Friday’s announcement and have pressed the administration to fill the role, which has been vacant since President Biden took office, Brownfield Ag News reported.

Taylor, a native Iowan, currently serves as the Oregon Director of Agriculture and previously served as deputy undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Ag Services during the Obama administration. 


State crop forecast calls for less wheat production

Winter wheat production in Wisconsin is forecast at 15.4 million bushels, 16 percent below last year's 18.4 million bushels according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service - Crop Production report.

Based on conditions as of May 1, the State's winter wheat yield is forecast at 70.0 bushels per acre, 5.0 bushels below last year. Wisconsin winter wheat growers intend to harvest 220,000 acres for grain, down 10 percent from 2021.

Nationally, farmers are expected to produce 1.17 billion bushels of winter wheat this year, a decrease of 8% from 2021. As of May 1, the U.S. yield is expected to average 47.9 bushels per acre, down 2.3 bushels from last year’s average of 50.2 bushels per acre.

All hay stored on Wisconsin farms as of May 1, 2022, was estimated at 630,000 tons, up 11 percent from May 1, 2021, according to the report. 

Disappearance from Dec. 1, 2021, through May 1, 2022, totaled 1.48 million tons, compared with 1.22 million tons for the same period in 2021.


Borden DePere plant to cease fluid production

A Borden Dairy processor informed its workers, vendors, and customers that they would be closing their doors this summer at their plant in Chembung, Ill. The plant, which operates under NDSM Holdings, LLC, also says they will be ceasing fluid production at their De Pere, Wis., plant.

“This change will impact the production and distribution of various brand-named milk products distributed across Illinois and Wisconsin,” the company said in a statement. 

The effective closure date of the Chembung, Ill. plant is set for July 9. The De Pere plant will continue its sour cream production, Dairy Herd Management reported. 


Baby formula poised to feed dairy industry

Pennsylvania officials touted a retooled infant formula facility as a boon for the state’s dairy farmers two weeks ago during a ceremony for the plant’s expansion, according to Lancaster Farming

ByHeart Inc., currently sources all its milk from New York.

The $22 million high-tech facility upgrade at Pennsylvania’s first Food and Drug Administration-approved infant formula operation was bolstered with $1.75 million from the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, which funds expansion and community revitalization projects.


Livestock groups support bill to up meatpacking capacity

Livestock organizations this week threw their support behind legislation that would allow livestock auction market owners to invest in or own small and medium meatpacking operations.

According to NPPC, a letter sent to the leadership of the agriculture committees in the Senate and House, NPPC, the American Sheep Industry Association, the Livestock Marketing Association, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and the United States Cattlemen’s Association asked that the “Amplifying Processing of Livestock in the United States,” or A-PLUS Act be considered and advanced.

The livestock groups noted that supply chain challenges and a lack of packing capacity have negatively affected consumers and producers. To remedy that, livestock auction owners have expressed interest in getting involved in the meatpacking business.

However, the Packers and Stockyards Act prohibits owning both an auction company and a packing firm or a meat marketing business based on decades-old concerns about the transparency of livestock transactions. 


Avian influenza detected in first Michigan commercial flock

The nationwide outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) due to migratory birds reached a commercial flock in Michigan, the first such instance.

According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), HPAI was confirmed in flock of 35,000 turkey in Muskegon County through testing at the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. The facility is under quarantine, and the birds have been depopulated.


Russia wheat crop thrives, while rest of world draws down stockpiles

Aided by one of its largest crops ever, Russia will again be the world’s largest wheat exporter in the year ahead while neighboring Ukraine will ship only half as much wheat as this year, the result of the invasion by Russia, said the Agriculture Department on Thursday.

The U.S. wheat crop will sell for a record average $10.25 a bushel, $3 more than the 2021 crop, because of tighter world supplies and drought at home, Successful Farming reported.

In its first estimate of 2022 crops, the USDA said world stockpiles of wheat would be drawn down by 12 million tons, or 4%, during the 2022-23 marketing year due to record-high demand for exports despite a slightly smaller crop than last year. World ending stocks would be the smallest in six years.


Chobani donates $1M to help launch U.S. research dairy

Chobani is putting $1 million towards the construction of the nation's largest research dairy, planned for the Magic Valley, as part of a push to push scientific research and sustainability forward.

The donation was made to the University of Idaho-led Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (Idaho CAFE.)  A variety of ongoing research experiments will be overseen by the University’s faculty and staff will happen at the new research dairy in Rupert, KTBV reported.

Idaho CAFE will include a 2,000-cow research dairy and 640-acre demonstration farm, as well as a Jerome-based education center and a food science program developed with the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls. 

The $22.5 million project is set to begin in June and the first stage of construction is scheduled to wrap up in 2023, with the University to begin milking cows at the Rupert location.