Ag Briefs: Wisconsin companies could be tariff exempt

Wisconsin State Farmer


Walker says Wisconsin companies could be tariff-exempt

Gov. Scott Walker says President Donald Trump's commerce secretary says exemptions to steel and aluminum tariffs could be granted to meet concerns of Wisconsin companies.

Walker said Friday that he spoke Thursday with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross about the newly imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Walker and other Republicans have urged Trump to reconsider.

Walker's spokeswoman Amy Hasenberg says Ross told Walker that the Commerce Department will be able to grant exemptions to address concerns voiced by plastics manufacturer Bemis Industrial Products over ultra-thin aluminum and food processor and distributor Seneca Foods' use of tinplate steel.

Hasenberg says Walker will work with those and other Wisconsin companies to be exempted from the tariffs.


Livestock killed in barn fire

Eight goats were killed in a barn fire in Marathon County Sunday evening.

The Marathon City Fire Department responded to reports of a fire near Valley View Drive in the town of Emmet, according to Fire Chief Mike Tylinksi. The fire started around 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Crews were on scene for three hours, he said. The department determined it was an electrical fire.

The barn was a total loss, Tylinksi said. A tractor and a pickup truck also were destroyed in the fire. No people were injured during the fire, he said.


Great Lakes cities to reduce emissions

Several communities around the Great Lakes are competing to reduce pollution by controlling the electricity they consume from the power grid.

Bayfield, Wisconsin, is one of five cities working to lower mercury and other emissions through the Water Utility Energy Challenge, Wisconsin Public Radio reported . The other cities are Detroit and Ann Arbor in Michigan; North Syracuse, New York; and Highland Park, Illinois.

The cities have been testing new technology that tracks pollution and can indicate what time to pump water when lower-polluting power sources are providing electricity. Bayfield reduced mercury emissions by 25 percent last year by pumping water at certain times of the day. Competition winners will be announced in June.


CWD-positive deer found on Washington County farm

A white-tailed deer from a breeding farm in Washington County has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), Wisconsin State Veterinarian Dr. Paul McGraw announced today. The National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the test results.

The buck was born on the 15-acre farm in May 2015. It was part of a herd of 58 whitetails, along with 13 elk, according to the owner's most recent registration. The owner found it dead from injuries apparently sustained in a fight. The deer had previously appeared healthy.

The farm has been enrolled in the CWD Herd Status Program since 2003. All deer from herds enrolled in the CWD Herd Status Program must be tested for CWD if they die or are killed on the farm. The farm has been quarantined.


Trail of manure spilled over 10-mile stretch of highway

Officials say a trail of manure was spilled across a 10-mile stretch of an Ohio highway when a truck apparently lost its load.

The Dayton Daily News reports the manure was discovered Friday morning, March 9, on Ohio 185 near Versailles in Darke County. Work crews who came out to begin work on a water pipe extension discovered the manure covering the roadway around 7 a.m.

It's unclear if investigators have found the person responsible for the spill.

State transportation crews were called in to assist with the cleanup.

The village of Versailles is about 45 miles (72 kilometers) north of Dayton.


Pennsylvania waterway soiled by 100K gallon manure spill

About 100,000 gallons of manure have spilled into two streams in Pennsylvania, killing fish in the area but not posing a threat to the water quality.

LNP newspaper reports a manure storage facility failure at a farm in Sadsbury Township caused the spill Monday. The state Department of Environmental Protection says the manure facility was located under a barn and had the capacity of 150,000 gallons.

The department says the manure reached Williams Run and the East Branch of Octoraro Creek that feeds into the Octoraro Reservoir. The reservoir supplies drinking water to people in Chester and Delaware counties.

The department says the dead fish were found in Williams Run. It says there has been no negative effect to the water quality in the reservoir.


Missouri turkey farm quarantined after bird flu detected

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the first commercial case of bird flu in the country this year has been confirmed at a turkey farm in southwestern Missouri.

USDA spokeswoman Lyndsay Cole said Thursday that the H7N1 avian influenza, a low-pathogenic form, was detected through pre-slaughter testing on a farm in Jasper County that houses 20,000 turkeys. The state put the farm under quarantine.

Cole says two other commercial poultry properties within 6 miles of the farm tested negative for influenza.

The low-pathogenic flu is different from the high-pathogenic virus that resulted in the loss of nearly 50 million birds in the Midwest in 2015. Cole says the low-pathogenic virus poses no risk to the food chain.

Jasper County is about 140 miles south of Kansas City, Missouri.