Midwest briefs: 75 cows seized from SD farmer

Wisconsin State Farmer
Midwest briefs


Indiana's Hunters Helping Farmers application period opens 

Landowners dealing with damage done by deer to their crops, forested land or landscaping can sign up for a program that allows hunting on their property. 

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says the application period for the Hunters Helping Farmers program runs through Aug. 30. 

Indiana's DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife recommends that hunting programs are started during the regular deer-hunting seasons. 

Hunters can sign up to hunt in a maximum of two counties. Their names will be added to a list of participating deer hunters organized by county. Landowners can select hunters based on hunting preferences, availability and other criteria. 


Authorities seize 76 animals from Ashton farm, charge owner 

Authorities have seized 75 cows and a horse from a farm near Ashton in northeastern South Dakota. 

The Spink County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday that the owner of the animals, 63-year-old Rex Spear, has been charged with felony animal abuse and misdemeanor animal neglect. 

The animals are being cared for in nearby Brown County. 

Spear is due in court July 10. 


Amish man sentenced to six years for mislabeling products 

An Amish farmer in Kentucky was sentenced to six years in prison for mislabeling his homemade herbal products, including a product that federal officials said was dangerous to the skin. 

Samuel Girod was sentenced in Lexington federal court to 72 months on charges of making misbranded products, impeding an investigation and witness tampering. Girod, 57, was found guilty by a jury in March. 

Court records say Girod manufactured salves and herbal products, including one he touted as a cure for skin cancer. Another product used an extract from bloodroot that officials said is corrosive to the skin. 

Prosecutors said Girod defied court orders to stop selling the products and barred Food and Drug Administration officials in 2013 from inspecting his facility in Bath County. 

Girod was ordered in 2013 by a judge in Missouri to stop selling his products until his labeling and advertisement met federal rules. But Girod defied that order, according to the release, continuing to sell them in Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois. 

Along with the sentence, Girod was also ordered by U.S District Judge Danny Reeves to pay $14,239 in restitution to customers. 


Michigan State road trip to promote research, innovation 

Representatives of Michigan State University are embarking on a road trip this month to promote research, education and innovation linked to the East Lansing school. 

The three-week, seven-community tour dubbed "The Great State Road Trip" kicks off July 17. It aims to highlight the work of faculty, staff and alumni across Michigan. 

Stops include East Lansing to showcase rare isotopes and biomedical research, Detroit for community medicine and composite materials, Flint for public health and Hammond Bay for sea lamprey management and Great Lakes health. 

Other destinations are Chatham for agriculture and farming, Holland for renewable energy storage and Traverse City for media, visual and performing arts. 


DEQ chief delays ruling on Grayling fish hatchery expansion 

The director of Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality is delaying a decision on whether a fish farming operation can substantially boost production of rainbow trout on the Au Sable River. 

Heidi Grether wants an administrative law judge to reconsider whether Harrietta Hills Trout Farm should have to monitor fish for whirling disease under a permit that would let the company gradually raise output to 300,000 pounds annually at its facility in Grayling, up from 20,000 pounds a few years ago. 

Groups opposing the expansion say farm-raised fish could expose wild trout downstream to the deadly sickness. 

Administrative Judge Daniel Pelter recommended granting the permit in February and said the DEQ doesn't have authority to require such monitoring. 

But Grether disagreed in a recent order. She told Pelter to take another look and said she'll make a final ruling on the permit afterward. 


Campaign to educate Kansas farmers about wheat streak mosaic

Controlling wheat streak mosaic is a community issue, say Kansas agriculture officials. 

Kansas Wheat, along with the Kansas Department of Agriculture and Kansas State University, is launching a campaign to educate farmers about wheat streak and the need to control volunteer wheat, said Justin Gilpin, chief executive officer of Kansas Wheat, The Hutchinson News reported. 

Gilpin said the campaign will include how to control the green bridge that helps pests and disease cross from one cropping season to another. That includes volunteer wheat. Volunteer wheat is a host for the wheat curl mite, which is the transmitter for the wheat streak mosaic virus. 

Gilpin said there also will be education on how a later planting date could help. 

Rick Horton, a farmer in Wichita County, said wheat curl mites "are like a worm-type deal that has flaps. They will crawl to the top of a wheat plant when volunteer starts to die out. They will wait for a windy day, go to the top, open up their little flaps and just ride the wind. Whatever they hit they will hit. 

The microscopic mite may hit milo stalks and they die in five to seven days. Or they will hit green corn and will be able to live, but they can't bring their populations very high. The mites could travel through the corn, then into the newly planted wheat crop. 

According to a recent Kansas State University agronomy publication on the issue, farmers should begin controlling volunteer early - including in acres of wheat hailed out during harvest. 

If volunteer wheat and other hosts are not controlled throughout the summer and are infested with wheat curl mites, the mites will survive until fall and could soon infest newly planted wheat, thus leading to wheat streak mosaic infections. 

Another tool, said Jason Ochs, a farmer in Hamilton County, is varieties that have wheat streak mosaic resistance. That includes Clara and Joe — both varieties of white wheat that he is currently harvest.