Midwest Briefs: Tribe restores wild rice in MN

Wisconsin State Farmer
Midwest briefs


Tribe restores wild rice in Minnesota

An American Indian tribe is working to restore wild rice to five eastern Minnesota lakes.

The work is being done by The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. The band is trying to mimic the hydrology that existed in reservation lakes before it was disrupted by canals, Minnesota Public Radio reported .

The government built the canals in the early 1900s in hopes of draining the land for farming, but the change caused some areas to stop regularly producing rice. The band began working in the late 1990s to make the rice grow again.

Other lakes needed to be cleared of aquatic vegetation that was crowding the rice. They were then reseeded with wild rice. The band maintains about 900 acres of wild rice habitat.


SD farmers ditch wheat plantings for corn, soybeans

Corn and soybeans are supplanting wheat as the crop of choice among South Dakota farmers because of higher profitability.

This year's planted acres of spring and winter wheat in the state fell to just over 2 million, one of the lowest figures since the 1800s, the Capital Journal reported .

U.S. Department of Agriculture figures show South Dakota farmers seeded wheat on 4 million acres as early as the year 1900. But lower prices and profitability for wheat compared to corn and soybeans the past 10 to 20 years have convinced farmers to plant less wheat.

The state's farmers decreased the corn acres they planted to 5.2 million this year. That number is down from the record 6.2 million acres in 2013 after prices hit record levels.


Corn stover demonstration plant planned

A northern Iowa city has been selected for construction of a $20 million demonstration plant for an animal feed made from corn plant parts.
Stover Ventures LLS has announced that construction will begin in the second quarter of next year on a 10-acre parcel in Osage. Production is expected to begin in early 2019. Officials say the plant is expected to employ about 15 people.
Stover Ventures was formed in 2015 by Ag Ventures Alliance Cooperative, of Mason City, and Cellulose Sciences International, of Madison, Wisconsin.
The plant will produce cattle feed made from corn stover — the stalks, leaves, husks and tassels that remain in cornfields after the harvest.


Milk spill turns Indiana Creek White 

Authorities say an accidental milk spill at a food processing business ended up turning a central Indiana creek white.

The Kokomo Tribune reports the change in the hue of Cicero Creek in Tipton was noticed on Sept. 12 and investigators determined that no more than 300 gallons of milk spilled from the Park 100 Foods plant. 

State environmental officials indicate the spill wasn't dangerous.

Crews used hay bales to help contain the milk and a cleanup company removed about 14,000 gallons of a water and milk mixture from the creek.


Cargill completes animal feed business transaction

Cargill has closed on its agreement to acquire the animal feed business of Southern States Cooperative, Inc. The deal was announced in early August and closed on September 22.

Under the agreement, Cargill purchased the assets of Southern States Cooperative's animal feed business, including seven feed mills and its portfolio of products, brands and customer and supplier relationships.

The other segments of Southern States Cooperative's business – retail, farm supply, energy, and agronomy – are not part of the transaction. 

The acquisition strengthens Cargill's distribution and go-to-market capabilities in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the U.S..


MMPA encourages yes vote on dairy referendum

Michigan dairy farmers have until Oct. 13 to decide where the state’s dairy promotional dollars will be spent during the next five years.

A majority “Yes” vote on the Dairy Promotion Referendum ballot, mailed to every state dairy producer, will continue the educational and promotion efforts of the United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM).

Under national law, 15-cents per hundredweight are deducted from dairy producers’ milk checks for advertising and educational programs. The law permits 10 of the 15 cents to remain in Michigan to fund local programs.

The upcoming referendum will decide whether or not that 10 cents will stay in Michigan or go to the national level.

The 15-cent per hundredweight checkoff is authorized by the Dairy and Tobacco Adjustment Act of 1983. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development administers the Michigan referendum.