Ag Briefs: Thieves steal $100K of pork from JBS plant

Wisconsin State Farmer
Midwest briefs


Thieves steal $100,000 of pork from JBS Plant

Three semi-trailers worth of pork product were stolen from an Ottumwa plant Thursday, Sept. 1, totaling over $100,000 in stolen meat. 

Ottumwa police responded to a call regarding a stolen semi at JBS, a meat packing plant in Ottumwa, Thursday at 7 a.m., according to Lt. Jason Bell, a spokesperson for the Ottumwa Police Department. Police believe the semi was used to steal three semi-trailers that were filled with over $100,000 in pork product ready to be distributed, the DesMoines Register reported. 

Authorities recovered two of the stolen trailers at the Blackhawk River Access in Ottumwa, Bell said. The last trailer was found in Wapello County near the intersection of 87th Street and 170th Avenue. All of the pork product had been removed, according to Bell. 


Man killed in farm accident

A 69-year-old man died in a farming accident near Ridgeway on the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 23, the Iowa County Sheriff’s Office said.

In a news release, the agency said first responders were called to the 7000 block of Rock Road in the town of Ridgeway just after 5:15 p.m. for a report of an accident. When crews got to the scene, they found the victim, Paul Bickford, dead.

According to his obituary, Bickford was a tireless advocate for organic farming and fostering the next generation of farmers, serving on Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection’s Organic Advisory Council and on the USDA Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers.

The release did not provide further details about the nature of the accident.


Healthy soil = Profitable farming field day

Cedar Creek Farmers and agronomists from local cooperatives, University Wisconsin Division of Extension will share their passion and experience of no-till,cover crops and healthy soils and cleaner water during the Healthy Soil=Profitable Farming Field Day, Sept. 14, at Bishop Enterprises, 1736 Mill Rd., Jackson, WI.

Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. followed by the program at 2 p.m.  Attendees will rotate among six field stations that will feature topics such as prairie pollinator strips, corn and soybean management recommendations, 9-mixed species cover crop plots, corn residue management, controlling herbicide resistant weeds, cover crop air seeding, combine cleaning and electrical weed zapper demos.

A free brisket dinner will be served to those attending full field day. Walk-ins and/or late arrivals (after 4 p.m.) will be charged $15 for meal. A social and bonfire to follow. RSVP by Mon., Sept. 12 call or email Fay at 262-335-4800 or


Nollen part of U.S. soil judging team taking first at world contest

University of Wisconsin-Platteville senior Isaac Nollen was on the four-person American soil judging team that took first place at last month’s International Soil Judging Competition, hosted by the 20th World Congress of Soil Science in Glasgow, Scotland.

Nollen, a soil and crop science major, became involved in the soil judging team on a college visit before even starting at UW-Platteville. He qualified for the international team by placing third in the individual contest at the national soils contest last spring, UW Platteville reported.

The event consisted of three days of classroom and field-based training before the two-day competition began.


Cedar Wedge recalls bacon product

The Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection announced that Cedar Wedge Farm in Bonduel is issuing a voluntary recall of bacon produced for individuals and sold from its retail store. The recall includes Smoked bacon, vacuum sealed in approximately 1-lb. packages.

According to the news release, the product is marked with a packaging date between Aug. 5-29, 2022, and includes a mark of inspection with plant No. 593.

DATCP says the product was produced with on site inspection. No illnesses have been reported as a result of consuming this product.


Farmer among those dead in murder/suicide

Volunteers are organizing in North Dakota to finish the harvest work started by a farmer found dead in his wheat field along with three other men in a case investigators describe as a murder-suicide.

The Towner County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday identified the four found Monday as Douglas Dulmage, 56; Justin Bracken, 34; Richard Bracken, 64, all from Leeds and Robert Bracken, 59, of Cando.

Associated Press reported that officials found a .357 caliber revolver at the scene. Pat Traynor, a close friend of Dulmage said Dulmage owned the property and was shot in his combine while harvesting wheat in his field south of Cando.


Drought forces earliest harvest ever in French wine country

Climate change is encroaching on the prestigious vineyards of Bordeaux. The harvest that once started in mid-September is now happening earlier than ever in one of France’s most celebrated wine regions and other parts of Europe.

Vintners started picking grapes in mid-August as a result of severe drought and the wine industry’s adaptation to the unpredictable effects of climate change.

Paradoxically, the season of heat waves and wildfires produced excellent grapes, despite lower yields. But achieving such a harvest required creative changes in growing techniques.