Ag Briefs: AG launches environmental action against Didion milling, ethanol plants

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
National briefs


AG Kaul launches environmental action against Didion milling and ethanol plants

Attorney General Josh Kaul says his office has filed a civil environmental enforcement action against Didion Milling, Inc. and Didion Ethanol, LLC, for allegedly violating its air pollution control permits at corn milling and ethanol production facilities in Columbia County.

The complaint which was filed in Columbia County Circuit Court alleges 30 violations including emissions control violations, leak detection violations, inspection and recordkeeping violations and more. The infractions were found during inspections conducted by the DNR.


Land sale of $30K per acre sets record

A local farmer in Sioux County, Iowa was the winning bidder when he purchased 73.19 acres of farmland for $30,000 per acre for a total sale cost of $2.1 million on Nov. 11.

The farm contained 72.49 tillable acres with the balance in road and ditches. It has a corn base of 38.19 acres with a PLC yield of 172 bu. per acre, and a soybean base of 38.19 acres with a PLC yield of 56 bu. per acre, Farm Journal reported.

This latest high-dollar sale follows several other recent ones. On Oct. 27, around 116 acres of southeast Nebraska farmland sold for a record $27,400 per acre


WI broadcaster inducted into NAFB Hall of Fame

She up long before the rooster crows, sharing insights into the agriculture industry on airwaves across Wisconsin. Longtime Wisconsin farm broadcaster Pam Jahnke was recently inducted into the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Hall of Fame. In 2013, she was named Farm Broadcaster of the Year by the organization.

Jahnke currently serves as the farm director of WTDY/Q106 Radio and Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Madison. A graduate of UW River Falls, Jahnke pioneered the university's first radio farm report and went on to preside over the NAFB broadcaster group.

Dubbed the Fabulous Farm Babe, Janke spearheaded the 'Wisconsin Farm Report,' which is broadcast on radio stations throughout Wisconsin. across the state.


Farmer panel to discuss growing dairy industry

Local dairy farmers and a co-op representative will discuss how to maintain and grow the industry in their local community during a panel discussion titled “Our Dairy Farms: Present and Future.” Sat., Dec. 3, 2 p.m. at the Cedarburg Public Library Community Room, W63 N589 Hanover Ave., Cedarburg, WI.

Featured panelists are: Jeremy Dahm, Ja-Bon Dairy Farm, Belgium; Shelly Grosenick, Crimson Ridge Dairy, Watertown; Thelma Heidel-Baker, Bossie Cow Farm, Random Lake; Bob Roden, Roden Echo Valley, West Bend; and Elizabeth McMullen, Organic Valley Co-op. Artist Judith Friebert is the moderator.

The public is invited free of charge. The event will be live-streamed on Zoom at, meeting ID: 871 7097 7705.

Refreshments will follow at the musreum and guests are invited view Friebert's art exhibit 'Pastel Pastures'. For more information, call 262-377-6123 or email


Expect tighter supply of cattle in 2023, analyst says

Though cattle marketing numbers were heavier than expected late summer and fall, expect that beef production and the number of cattle marketed will be lower in the year ahead.

Successful Farming reported that the reason is due to higher input costs and drought conditions in key cattle-producing states will mean less inventory in the months ahead.

This trend has been in play for some time, as the key cattle-producing states have struggled with drought and poor pasture conditions. The western and southwestern regions of the Midwest (in particular, winter wheat areas) have been plagued by continuous dry weather. The result is a winter wheat crop that has experienced slow emergence and is a poorly rated crop at only 32% good to excellent. The poor to very poor rating is also 32%.

This implies more cattle will go to feedlots sooner than usual, as they will not be pasturing on winter wheat. These cattle will move through the pipeline sooner and, consequently, less beef will be available down the road.


Deadline for PDPW Foundation grant applications is Dec. 1

The Professional Dairy Producers Foundation is encouraging members of the dairy community to apply for grants up to $5,000 to fund programs around the country that will impact dairy producers, students and consumers.

Applications are due Thurs., Dec. 1, and notifications of award decisions will be made by Jan. 1, 2023, just in time for your organization to have an impact in the New Year. Applications are reviewed by an independent selection committee.

Organizations with a tax status of 501(c)(3) or (5) may apply. Complete grant information is available at For more information, call 800-947-7379 or email


Lettuce markets soar to records

Pushed higher by a yield-robbing virus in the Salinas, Calif., region and limited volume from other growing regions, fob markets on romaine and iceberg lettuce soared to record highs of $100 per carton or more in early to mid-November.

The USDA reported average prices for romaine were $82 per carton in mid-November, up from $38 in early October and $28 per carton in early September.

Prices as high as $110 per carton were reached for Salinas area lettuce in November 17, The Packer reported.


No more mad cow worries for donors

Blood centers in the U.S. are scrambling to track down hundreds of thousands of former donors turned away because of worries about mad cow disease in Europe more than two decades ago.

The Food and Drug Administration lifted longtime rules that had barred blood donations from people, including current and former military members, who spent time in the U.K. and other countries during periods from 1980 to 2001, Associated Press reported.

The FDA determined there was little risk from blood donations of acquiring the rare and fatal brain infection tied to eating contaminated beef.


BouMatic, Nedap partner to offer integrated wireless milk monitoring

A new product partnership between BouMatic and Nedap will help to make milking more comfortable for cows.

Wireless, free-flow milk monitoring is now integrated into BouMatic parlor systems thanks to a partnership with Nedap’s MagStream technology. MagStream is a wireless milk monitoring system that operates without the vacuum drops or fluctuations that so often create discomfort for cows. The free-flow technology does not disrupt milk flow, and it provides a number of benefits for dairy operations.

As part of the partnership, BouMatic will handle product availability, inst


Groups seek to fix WIC proposal that would decrease access to dairy products

Representing dairy farmers, cooperatives, and processors, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) issued a joint statement in response to USDA’s proposed changes to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

Officials say the proposed rule would decrease access to dairy products and the unique nutrient profile they provide, especially considering the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) note that a staggering nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population does not consume enough dairy to meet dietary recommendations.

GENEVA, Switzerland

UN: West Africa next in line for tied-up Russian fertilizer

A top U.N. official says West Africa is next in line to receive Russian fertilizer that is tied up in European ports and prevented from being exported to needy countries.

Rebeca Grynspan, the head of the U.N. trade office, hailed “very good news for the world” after Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the world body had a day earlier extended a four-month deal to ease the export of Ukrainian grain and foodstuffs through the Black Sea. Fallout from the war has helped drive up prices for food and fertilizer around the world.


US October almond shipments fall to 8-year low

The October Position Report, released by the Almond Board of California on Nov. 11, showed that October shipments amounted to 214.61 million pounds ‒ a decline of 1.1% on the year and the lowest October shipment since 2015.

Although the October shipments were significantly below average, they were still at the higher end of industry expectations, FreshPlaza reported.

Despite this, market participants expected limited impact on prices, with one US trader stating prior to the release, “for there to be any major impact on prices, I’d say shipments would have to be over 240 million pounds. Any figure below that is unlikely to significantly lift the market.”