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Agriculture News

Wisconsin farmers helping each other after snow collapses barns

Brownfield Ag News | Posted on April 19, 2018

The weekend blizzard has some farms looking for places to shelter their cows. About ten farms with collapsed or structurally-compromised barn roofs in a 150 mile stretch of central and northeastern Wisconsin. Trotter says he started receiving phone calls Sunday morning, as more than 30 inches of wet, heavy snow and freezing rain fell in some areas.   He tells Brownfield the impact on producers is still being assessed.  “From what I know, probably somewhere around seven or eight thousand cows are being moved, or heifers.  That’s anecdotally.  We don’t have a clear picture of everyone who’s been affected.”Trotter says they’ve reached out to DBA members, and some are responding to help temporarily take on more cows.  “(People in) agriculture and dairy farmers are ones that look out for each other, and we’re seeing a lot of that during this storm.”One of the largest barns held 1,100 cows. But all of them got out safely before the roof fell in.The weekend blizzard that pummeled the region left snow drifts 10 feet deep next to some barns, frustrating efforts to get ladders and snow removal equipment up on the roof. Near Oconto Falls, O’Harrow Family Farm employees have been scrambling since the roof collapsed on one of the farm’s dairy barns Sunday morning.The barn held 1,000 cattle, said owner Tim O’Harrow.“The center alley of the barn was destroyed. We still have some cows underneath the debris. We got all the healthy cows out,” he said Sunday.

Hay Urgently Needed In Oklahoma

Ag Web | Posted on April 19, 2018

Large wildfires in western Oklahoma continue to burn more than 400,000 acres and growing. “Hay is the number one need right now,” said Dana Bay, Woodward County OSU Extension Educator. “Ranchers that were able to save their cattle but lost their grass and hay of their own are in desperate need of hay to sustain those animals.”If you would like to donate hay, please contact Extension coordinators at one of the three phone numbers:(405) 590-0106,(405) 496-9329, (405) 397-7912. A second relief fund has been established by the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation (OCF) with. 100% of donations will be distributed to ranchers who have been affected by the fires. Funds will be dispersed 90 days after the fire is out. Applications to apply for fire relief funds can be found at

Indiana Trial Court Applies Right-toFarm Act

Indiana Ag Law | Posted on April 19, 2018

The Hendricks County Superior Court ruled in favor of a group of hog farmers and their cooperative when it dismissed a lawsuit against them. The Lawsuit was filed by neighbors who argued that the hog farm was a nuisance, that the farm's location was rhe result of negligent siting and that the farm would release odors which would trespass on neighbor's property.  The plaintiffs argued the farm itself had been negligently sited, so the RTFA should not apply. There was no evidence the plaintiffs’ alleged damage had been caused by any negligent operations, and the negligent siting theory impeded on the county’s right to grant zoning permission to locate a farm within the county. The plaintiffs have 30 days to appeal.

Drought Returns to Huge Swaths of U.S., Fueling Fears of a Thirsty Future

Pew Charitable Trust | Posted on April 18, 2018

 Less than eight months after Hurricane Harvey pelted the Texas Gulf Coast with torrential rainfall, drought has returned to Texas and other parts of the West, Southwest and Southeast, rekindling old worries for residents who dealt with earlier waves of dry spells and once again forcing state governments to reckon with how to keep the water flowing. Nearly a third of the continental United States was in drought as of April 10, more than three times the coverage of a year ago. And the specter of a drought-ridden summer has focused renewed urgency on state and local conservation efforts, some of which would fundamentally alter Americans’ behavior in how they use water.

Doing well, doing good in Canada

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on April 18, 2018

A meat-cutting school on the Sandy Bay First Nation reserve on the western shore of Lake Manitoba is training workers for jobs at the area’s HyLife pork processing plant and beyond. The first-of-its-kind partnership brings together a Canadian meat processor, an indigenous community and the federal government, The Western Producer reported. HyLife Ltd. recently completed a $176 million expansion of its pork processing facility in Neepawa, Manitoba, that added 165 jobs and is expected to help the company boost exports of fresh chilled pork.The idea for the meat-cutting school was hatched two years ago as an effort to involve more women in particular in the trades, the publication said. Sandy Bay leaders were looking for a way to launch more young people into the workforce, and Canada’s meat processing industry, as in the U.S., deals with a severe and chronic shortage of labor.

400,000+ Acres Burned In Rhea Wildfire

Ag Web | Posted on April 18, 2018

Since the Rhea Wildfire began more than 400,000 acres have burned in western Oklahoma. Drought conditions paired with wind gusts of up to 40 mph are helping the fire spread. According to the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, two people have died because of injuries. As of Monday, the fire is roughly 3 percent contained, according to Oklahoma Forestry Services. Ranchers are caught in the crosshairs as the state catches fire.

Canadian Milk Protein Imports Declining

USDA | Posted on April 18, 2018

Canadian imports of milk protein substances (MPS) declined in 2017, after reaching a peak in 2016. Canada’s cheese production, which has used increasing volumes of MPS, and cheese consumption have grown twenty percent over the past five years, reaching approximately 475,000 metric tons in 2017. In February 2017, Canada introduced class 7, a milk price class that provides Canadian manufacturers access to milk for ingredient processing.

Carrot vs. stick: How should Minnesota get to cleaner water?

MPR news | Posted on April 18, 2018

Water has been a major focus of Dayton's tenure in office. He pushed for Minnesota's first buffer law and held town hall meetings across the state to talk about how to improve water quality. But finding agreement on solutions hasn't been easy.The governor set an ambitious goal of improving Minnesota's water quality 25 percent by 2025. But consensus on how to achieve that goal has been elusive."I think the 25 by 25 initiative is a great example of how people's desires and their intentions are not yet matched up," said John Linc Stine, commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Stine said during Dayton's town hall meetings, it was clear Minnesotans agree on the importance of water, but not on policies to protect it. Part of that trick is finding the right balance between the carrot and the stick — voluntary programs that encourage landowners to take action, and regulations that force them to. Dayton has tried both approaches. His administration proposed rules for applying nitrogen fertilizer aimed at cutting nitrates in drinking water supplies. He also started a voluntary certification program for farmers who take steps to protect water quality.

Missouri Attorney General defends states’ sovereign, economic interests

Farm Futures | Posted on April 18, 2018

California imposes its poultry cage rules on states hoping to sell to California consumers. In requesting the U.S. Supreme Court to accept its complaint in the California cage size case, Missouri’s Attorney General states, “Unless this Court acts, California will continue to impose new agricultural regulations on other states in violation of federal law and those States’ sovereign, quasi-sovereign, and economic interests…”. The Attorneys General from Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin state they have “…a claim of seriousness and dignity between Sovereign States over which this Court [U.S. Supreme Court] has exclusive jurisdiction.” The complaining states are requesting the Court to hear this case between them and the state of California. The complaining States make it clear California has a history of ignoring federal statutes.

Tackling cage-free layer housing air quality challenges

Watt Ag Net | Posted on April 18, 2018

Giving laying hens access to a litter area for dustbathing, scratching and foraging helps minimize aggressive behavior, but it can result in dust and ammonia problems. Dust, which can serve as a carrier of microorganisms and endotoxins, is a significant health risk for both farm workers and the birds as fine particulate matter can enter into the respiratory system. Ammonia, likewise, can cause respiratory tract irritation or damage. Recent studies have shown that cage-free housing results in six to nine times higher dust in the house environment than cage systems with manure belts. Researchers in Europe and the U.S. have explored many potential approaches to controlling dust including ionization with electrical charges using metal wires on the ceiling. Other studies have focused on spraying litter with treatments including tap water, acidic water, soybean, canola or rapeseed oil and combinations of water and oil.