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MADISON

GE petunias imported into U.S.

The USDA's Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) recently learned that several varieties of petunias genetically engineered (GE) to produce various hues of orange, red and purple colored flowers have been imported into the United States from Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, South America, as well as the countries of Australia, Israel, and Mexico, and distributed interstate without proper authorization as required by APHIS regulations.  

APHIS is working in close cooperation with breeders and growers represented by the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) and AmericanHort to ensure the implicated GE petunia varieties are withdrawn from distribution. Several distributors have already voluntarily removed GE petunias from distribution and destroyed them in accordance with APHIS guidance.  

On May 2, 2017, APHIS was informed by Selecta Klemm GmbH & Co that one of its petunia varieties – an orange petunia – was potentially genetically engineered and had been imported and moved interstate without required authorization by APHIS. This led to testing by USDA of numerous petunia varieties, which confirmed this particular variety and several others are indeed GE and meet our regulatory definition of a regulated article under APHIS regulations.  

Consumers who may have purchased GE petunias need take no action, as the petunias are not considered to pose a risk to human health or the environment. Retailers, growers and breeders are being asked to voluntarily withdraw GE petunias from distribution.

PRAIRIE DU SAC

Culver's donates $30K for FFA jackets

Local Culver’s restaurants along with Culver’s Support Center  worked with the National FFA Organization, which develops its members’ unique talents and explores their interests through agricultural education, to donate over $30,000 to the organization’s blue jacket program.

Culver’s blue jacket donation is part of their Thank You Farmers™ program, which raises awareness about the importance of the agricultural industry and supports future ag leaders.

Culver’s donation will cover the cost of 238 blue jackets for FFA members across the country who may otherwise not be able to purchase one. The blue corduroy jackets are the official dress of FFA and unite a network of more than 649,000 future agricultural leaders across the country, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“For FFA members who have such a passion for agriculture, wearing the blue jacket is a sign of their commitment to the future of agriculture,” said Jessie Corning, senior marketing manager for Culver’s. “We’re proud to provide jackets to these deserving students.”

MADISON

CDC awards $10M for Insect-Borne Disease Center at UW

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded $10 million to a consortium of Midwestern universities to establish a new research and training program to stem the spread of disease carried by vectors like ticks and mosquitoes, and a faculty member from the UW School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) will be at its helm.

The Upper Midwestern Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases, which will be led by University of Wisconsin–Madison medical entomologists Lyric Bartholomay and Susan Paskewitz, is aimed at elevating the understanding of vector-borne diseases and improving public health response to diseases like Zika, West Nile, and Lyme disease.

The new center will involve scientists — public health entomologists, epidemiologists, virologists, and vector control experts — from UW–Madison, the University of Illinois, the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan, and the Minnesota Department of Health.

MADISON

Egg production continues to rebound

Wisconsin egg production during April 2017 was 147 million eggs, up 3 percent from last month, and up 11 percent from last year, according to the latest Chickens and Eggs report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The average number of all layers on hand during April 2017 was 6.04 million, up 5 percent from last month, and up 7 percent from last year. Eggs per 100 layers for April were 2,432 down 2 percent from last month, but up 3 percent from last year.

LISBON, WI

Farmers commend Kwik Trip

The Wisconsin Corn Growers Association and Wisconsin BioFuels Association have commended Kwik Trip on its recent decision to join “Prime the Pump.”

Prime the Pump is an ethanol-industry initiative created to help the early retail adopters of high-level ethanol blends by awarding grants to reduce initial investments in infrastructure. Through the initiative Kwik Trip will join other major fuel retailers in offering 15-percent-ethanol biofuel, also called E15, to customers in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota.

Kwik Trip is aggressively adopting E15 by leveraging existing infrastructure to offer the fuel. The company plans to eventually offer E15 at most of its more than 500 locations.

“The Wisconsin Corn Growers Association is very excited about Kwik Trip’s decision to offer E15,” said association President Casey Kelleher. “Ethanol has provided our country with cleaner air, a stronger economy and the potential for energy independence. We need to continue strengthening our commitment to renewable fuels, and this is a step in the right direction.”

E15 is approved for use in all vehicles 2001 and newer. It’s the most tested fuel in history, according to the association.

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