Ag briefs: U.S. suspends pork imports from Poland

Wisconsin State Farmer


Indiana man allegedly stole trailers filled with soybeans

Eastern Indiana police say a man allegedly stole a semi and two trailers loaded with soybeans and then sold the grain for about $17,000.

The Randolph County Sheriff's Department says the 55-year-old man was arrested Friday. The Star Press reports the man hasn't been formally charged, but faces preliminary charges that include theft in excess of $50,000.

Capt. Tom Pullins says the man allegedly stole a semi-tractor trailer loaded with soybeans from a Randolph County farmer in June.

He says surveillance video shows the same stolen semi was used to steal another soybean-filled trailer from a Randolph County business in September. Pullins says the suspect later told the soybeans for about $17,000.

The second trailer has been located, but the tractor and trailer stolen in June remain missing.


U.S. suspends pork imports from Poland

The United States suspended imports of pork from Poland last week following an outbreak of the highly contagious hog disease African swine fever in that country. The disease has spread rapidly in eastern Europe and China, the world’s largest pork producer, where new cases are appearing and the disease is traveling far distances, according to Reuters.

The United States is currently free of the disease. Humans are not susceptible to African swine fever, according to the USDA.

The agency said it was reviewing Poland’s export protocols after finding one facility there shipped pork to the United States without following requirements designed to prevent the spread of serious livestock diseases. A second Polish facility is also being reviewed, according to a USDA notice.


Oregon issues $187K fine to dairy for 224 violations

Oregon regulators have fined the state's second-largest dairy more than $187,000 after finding 224 violations of its wastewater permit.

The Statesman Journal reports the state Department of Agriculture announced the fine last week against Lost Valley Farm near Boardman.

The violations that occurred between June 2017 and August 2018 include allowing manure lagoons to overflow, improperly storing dead cows and failing to report spills.
Owner Greg te Velde declined to comment Tuesday. He has until next month to appeal the penalty.

The penalty comes as te Velde faces bankruptcy proceedings, a pending permit revocation and criminal contempt of court charges.

Department spokeswoman Andrea Cantu-Schomus says the penalty amount due will become part of his bankruptcy estate.


Potbelly truant goes all the way home

A pig found roaming the streets of North Carolina is home, after some time in county custody. Scott Bird with Forsyth County animal services tells the Winston-Salem Journal the owner was "very happy to be reunited" with the pig Tuesday.

The pig's whirlwind week began when it "vacated the property," in Bird's words, through an unlatched fence. Deputies received a call Sunday from a resident whose dog was chasing the pig in their yard.

It took a deputy more than an hour to corral the pig inside a fenced-in area, finally luring it with dog food. Weighing up to 50 pounds, the pig dwelled in a kennel until its owner was found.


Texas A&M earns USDA approval for cottonseed genetic process

Scientists at Texas &M University have earned federal approval of a genetic process to unleash cottonseed as possibly one of the world's leading sources of protein-rich food.

The San Antonio Express-News reports the patent-pending process is known as "TAM66274." The process this month won nonregulation status from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service.

Officials with Texas A&M AgriLife Research say cottonseed possibly could become a food source for the world's growing population, such as grinding seed into flour.

Experts say it will take a couple of years before there's enough seed for a commercial-scale run at a cottonseed oil mill.

The Express-News reports an agreement will have to be reached with a seed company willing to market the trait for cotton farmers worldwide.