Wisconsin briefs: Fish farming growing

Wisconsin State Farmer
Wisconsin briefs


Farmers eligible for emergency loans

Parts of Manitowoc County were hit hard by a severe thunderstorm on July 8. The storm contained heavy rains, strong winds, and damaging hail.

As farmers, crop consultants, and others assess the damage to their crops, and UW-Extension Crops and Soils agent Scott Gunderson Syas it's important to take your time in assessing storm damage.

He stresses that it's important to be patient since it is difficult to determine dead tissue from live tissue immediately after a severe hail event. Waiting a few days is generally a good idea. If you have crop insurance, be sure to document the date of the event along with the stage of development of the crop.

Farmers in Manitowoc and surrounding counties are eligible for emergency loans (currently 3.75% interest) due to winterkill and spring injury (please read the attached Secretarial Disaster Designation).

If interested, the application process is open now and runs through February 28, 2018. Contact the Manitowoc FSA office at 920-683-5119.


Fish farming in Wisconsin growing after decade of stagnation

After a 10-year lull, Wisconsin's aquaculture industry is seeing growth with new farms raising fish destined for the dinner plate.

Chris Hartleb is a University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point biology professor who's tracked the state's aquaculture industry. He told Wisconsin Public Radio that there's been a resurgence in the past three years with new businesses, often run by a younger generation, opening up.

Fish farming in the state has traditionally centered on raising bait and sport fish for anglers, but new aquaculture businesses are moving the focus back to fish meant to be eaten.

Superior Fresh, a fish farm and aquaponics greenhouse, utilizes computers to control things like water temperature and lighting. The indoor facility and technology is expected to allow the farm to grow fish faster.

Republican Sen. Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst sponsored a bill in 2016 easing regulations for the state's aquaculture industry in an effort to spur the growth of more fish farming and aquaponics facilities.

"What we did was we wanted to streamline some of the regulatory functions, not change any environmental standards, but just streamline the process and really give greater opportunity for people in the aquaculture industry because there's no reason we don't have a more robust, growing aquaculture industry," Tiffany said.


Jurcek to represent WI on advisory council

Jessica Jurcek of Jefferson has been elected to serve on National Farmers Union’s National Youth Advisory Council. Jurcek is one of six council members elected by campers during the 81st annual NFU All-States Leadership Camp June 25-29 in Bailey, Colorado.

Farmers Union youth members from across the country gathered last week at the NFU Education Center, nestled among the peaks of the Rockies, for the All-States Camp, which encourages youth to explore their leadership potential, discuss issues important to their generation and identify ways to effect positive change in their communities.

Throughout the week, campers between the ages of 17 and 20-years old participated in programs that emphasize leadership, teamwork and cooperative education while also enjoying traditional camp activities.


Dairy Dialogue Day Tour Aug. 16

The Professional Dairy Producers® (PDPW) announce the PDPW Dairy Dialogue Day Tour, a daylong chartered bus tour to visit two high performing dairies and connect with fellow dairy owners and managers.  

The tour will be held Wednesday, Aug. 16 departing Compeer Financial in Prairie du Sac, Wis., at 9:30 a.m. and return by 3:30 p.m.

The tour will be facilitated by Dr. Randy Shaver, professor at UW-Madison and extension dairy nutritionist, and feature stops at two dairy farms in south-central Wisconsin: Wargo Acres, owned and operated by the Carncross family near Lodi, Wis., and Blue Star Dairy, owned and operated by the Meinholz family near Middleton.

Dairy owners and managers who attend will gain new ideas and insights to achieve reproduction goals, optimize calf growth, develop quality genetics, manage high production, and explore different types of stall bedding and comfort.

Space is limited to the first 50 farmer and each day’s tours includes bus travel, refreshments and lunch.

To learn more about the PDPW Dairy Dialogue Day Tours and to register, visit www.pdpw.org or 1-800-947-7379.


Walking and Talking Crops: Livestock Health, Grazing, and Soil Health Field Day

UW-Extension will hold a livestock health, grazing and soil health field day on Wednesday, July 19, from 12:30 – 3 p.m. at the Agriculture Research Station at M605 Drake Ave., Stratford.  

With all the challenges of the 2017 growing season, speakers will discuss some of the 2017 growing season challenges. 

  • Richard Halopka, Clark County UW-Extension Crops & Soils Agent, will be present to address questions related to 2017 challenges.
  • Jason Cavadini, ARS assistant superintendent, tour of some of the research farms projects related to rotational grazing, soil health, cover crops, and no-till practices. 
  • Sandy Stuttgen, Taylor County Agriculture Agent, Salmonella; concerns for both livestock and humans.
  • Amanda Kasparek, Clark County Land Conservation Agronomist, demonstrates a soil volcano. 
  • Jane Reigel, USDA-NRCS District Conservationist will demonstrate a rainfall simulator and the impact on tilled and reduce tilled soils.
  • Kirk Langfoss, Marathon County Conservation, Planning, and Zoning, will discuss the Heart of America’s Dairyland Ag Enterprise Area and Farmland Preservation.       

This will be a rain or shine event and some demonstrations will be in the field, so dress accordingly. CEU’s will be applied for agronomist. 

Bring questions related to soil health, cover crops, rotational pastures and the interaction of soil health and tillage.

If interested in attending please call the UW-Extension Office (715-743-5121) or email richard.halopka@ces.uwex.edu no later than July 18.