Ag briefs: Fire destroys Fond du Lac barn

Wisconsin State Farmer


Fire destroys FDL County barn and animals inside

Livestock and a dog were killed in a barn fire just before dawn on April 29.

The fire was reported about 5 a.m. at W11766 County Highway T in rural Fond du Lac County, at a property owned by Gary and Jamie Lawson.

The blaze destroyed the barn, along with 30 chickens, two pigs and one dog that are not accounted for and are presumed lost, the Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office is reporting.

The fire does not appear to be suspicious.

Fire departments from Brandon Fairwater, Alto, Waupun, Rosendale, North Fond du Lac Van Dyne, Fond du Lac and Lifestar Ambulance assisted at the scene.


Court: New York large farm manure permit rules fall short

New York regulators will revise permitting rules for certain large dairy farms after a court ruled in favor of environmental groups claiming current rules don't comply with the federal Clean Water Act.

The lawsuit filed in state supreme court by Earthjustice said the Department of Environmental Conservation's permit rules don't include enough public input and impartial state expert review. A court ruling on April 23 agreed.

The permit rules adopted last year address manure management on farms with 200 or more cows housed in a confined area.

The court ruled that the state does meet federal requirements for setting enforceable manure management conditions.

A DEC spokeswoman said the court decision applies to 21 facilities under a "general permit." She said existing permits will remain in effect while rules are being revised.


National Dairy Shrine announces 2018 adult award honorees

National Dairy Shrine (NDS) announced the winners of the Guest of Honor, Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder, Pioneer, and Progressive Commercial Dairy Manager awards for this year. These awards were designed to honor past, present and future dairy industry leaders that have contributed to strengthening and energizing the dairy industry. 

Dr. Gordon Doak, of Columbia, Missouri, is the Guest of Honor, the highest recognition from the National Dairy Shrine. 

The Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder is Randy Kortus, Mainstream Holstein, Jersey & Ayrshires of Lynden, Washington.

Long-time career dairy leaders selected as Pioneers: David Burket, (East Freedom, PA), Polled Holstein and Red & White Breeder, George Harris, (New Milford, CT), Brown Swiss CEO and Breeder, Gerald Strandlund (Bellingham, WA), Dairy Journalist, Photographer & Merchandiser, Ronald Eustice, (Tucson, AZ), Red & White Breeder and International consultant, Zane Akins (Lady Lake, FL), CEO of Holstein Association USA

This year’s honorees will be inducted into the National Dairy Hall of Fame in Fort Atkinson.

The Progressive Commercial Dairy Managers award goes to Randy & Jennifer Gross, Ash Grove Dairy, Lake Benton, MN. 


Wisconsin milk price up in March, still much lower than last year

The Wisconsin all milk price for March 2018 was $16.20 per hundredweight (cwt) according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Agricultural Prices report. This was 60 cents higher than last month’s price but $1.80 lower than last March’s price.

The U.S. all milk price for March was $15.60 per cwt, 60 cents lower than Wisconsin’s price but 30 cents higher than last month’s U.S. price. Twenty of the 23 major milk producing states had a higher price when compared with February, while 3 states had price decreases. Iowa had the largest price increase, up 70 cents to $16.10 per cwt. Idaho, Minnesota, Utah, and Wisconsin all had increases of 60 cents per cwt. over last month.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange* (CME) 40‐pound block cheese price closed at $1.6200 per pound on April 27, while barrels were $1.4875 per pound. The CME butter price was $2.3600 per pound.

For the week ending April 21, 2018, the Agricultural Marketing Service* U.S. weekly 40‐pound block cheese price averaged $1.6025 per pound, and 500 pound barrels adjusted to 38 percent moisture averaged $1.5060 per pound. The U.S. butter price was $2.2778 per pound.


Mike Tyson's company, West Virginia cannabis farm partner

A company owned by former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson is teaming up with a West Virginia cannabis farm.

News outlets report officials announced Monday that Tyson Holistic and West Virginia's Almost Heaven Agriculture are partnering to put a hemp extraction facility at the latter's existing greenhouse.

Tyson Holistic Chief Operating Officer Kevin Bell says they chose an existing license holder for a joint venture, as the state only gives licenses twice a year. He touted the uses of medicinal hemp, which retails for a higher price than industrial hemp, but says the state currently has no extraction facility.

Bell says the company plans to invest "whatever it takes" in the West Virginia hemp industry. The company is also looking at reclamation land to grow crops.