Wisconsin briefs: Corn silage field demo day set

Wisconsin State Farmer


WMSPA annual fall tour set for Oct. 14

The Wisconsin Maple Syrup Producers (WMSPA) will be hosting their annual fall tour on Oct. 14, starting at the Voyageur Inn and Conference Center in Reedsburg. Registration is from 7:45 - 8:30 a.m.

The cost of the tour is $35 for adults and $20 for children under 12. The tour is open to everyone.

Stops include Carr Valley Cheese in La Valle, Bauer Valley Maples, Mc Cluskey Brothers Organic Farms and concludes with a 55-minute rustic, rural train ride and museum tour at Mid Continent Railroad, North Freedom. 

The day will start with a trip to Carr Valley Cheese in La Valle to see Wisconsin Cheese Curds being made.  Then attendees will travel to the painted forest in Valton - a little white building set on the hillside with walls and ceiling covered with visionary and intriguing murals painted in the late 1890’s by self-taught German Painter, Ernest Hupeden.

The next stop is at Bauer Valley Maples. They are a family operated business that produces and sells 100% pure maple syrup from 2500 taps.

After a barbeque lunch catered at St. Anthony Church/school, the next stop will be at Mc Cluskey Brothers Organic Farms in the Cazenovia area.

To register contact Theresa Baroun, WMSPA Executive Director at director@wismaple.org or call (920)680-9320. Registration deadline is Sept. 29.


Wisconsin dairy farmers start indoor shrimp production

A northern Wisconsin dairy farm family is supplementing its income with fresh shrimp.

Larry and Laurie Fortuna have 230 cows on their 500-acre dairy farm in Rusk County, the Leader-Telegram of Eau Clarie reported. The couple started raising saltwater Pacific white shrimp last year.

The Fortunas had expanded their dairy herd from 60 to 230 in 2001 but didn't want to add more cows to their operation. They began exploring the option of indoor shrimp production after becoming discouraged by low milk prices and drought a few years ago.

The biggest expense in the operation was construction a free-stall barn to house the shrimp. They have 20 swimming pools in the facility and 40,000 shrimp which need to be fed three times a day.

Larry Fortuna said the key to raising shrimp is maintaining the water quality.

They sell a pound of live shrimp for about $20. They sell the shrimp directly from the farm to customers.


Wisconsin indoor fish farm uses water for greenhouse 

A new fish farm and greenhouse operation in western Wisconsin is promising to change the seafood industry with its indoor aqua-hydroponics system. 

The Leader-Telegram reports that fish farm-greenhouse enterprise Superior Fresh in Northfield opened its indoor Atlantic salmon farm on Aug. 31. 

The 1-acre fish farm can produce up to 120,000 pounds (55 metric tons) of Atlantic salmon and 40,000 pounds (18 metric tons) of rainbow trout each year. 

The nutrient-rich water that the fish create is transported to a nearby 123,000-square-foot greenhouse to help grow leafy greens. At full production, the farm is expected to grow about 2 million pounds (907 metric tons) of fresh greens annually. 

The operation holds about 1.4 million gallons of water. 

Company chief operating officer Brandon Gottsacker says the enterprise needed a nearly $20 million investment. 


Central Wisconsin Forage Council corn silage field demonstration day 

Central Wisconsin Forage Council has set Thursday, Sept. 21 as the date for their fall forage field day and field demonstrations. 

The event will be held at the Mitch Lindner farm north of Loyal on Spencer Rd. Events planned for the day include field corn silage harvest equipment demonstration and field demonstrations of tillage equipment and no-till drill. This is a rain or shine and a ride and drive event. 

Currently the harvest demonstration will include two self-propelled harvesters and storing the harvested corn silage. Tillage demonstrations will include a number of vertical tillage implements and a no-till drill. The corn silage will be harvested weather permitting to demonstrate precision harvesting data collection.  

John Deere is providing a portable NIR machine on site for the day to determine moisture content of corn silage samples. Bring in three stalks of corn to be chopped and tested between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., to determine the whole plant moisture.

CWFC would appreciate a RSVP by Sept. 20 to provide a count for lunch.  Please contact the Clark County UW-Extension office at 715-743-5121. 

To RSVP or if you have questions please contact Richard Halopka, Crops & Soils Agent, at 715-743-5121 or richard.halopka@ces.uwex.edu. 


Dredged muck from Wisconsin lake to be repurposed 

The muck at the murky bottom of an eastern Wisconsin lake is being dredged and repurposed. 

The Fond du Lac Reporter reports that the city of Fond du Lac removed about 540 tons of lake-bottom material from around a pier at Lakeside Park at Lake Winnebago. 

The dredging is done every two to three years to ensure boats can navigate in and out of the harbor. 

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources hydrologist Jackie Marciulionis says the material can be used as fill and landscape material for various sites around the city. 

She says the materials will be dried and blended with clean topsoil to reduce the concentration of contaminants. It will be ready for use once tests show that the material is clean.