Agriculture Archives for 2017-01

ROPS System Could Save Lives On The Farm


By Aerica Bjurstrom




Winter is a great time to do maintenance of farm machinery, and one item that should be on your list is to install rollover protection on your tractors. Did you know tractor rollovers are the leading cause of farm-related deaths? That's why it's so important that each tractor have a rollover protective structure (ROPS).

A ROPS, when used with a seatbelt, is 99 percent effective in preventing injury or death in the event of an overturn. More than half the tractors in Wisconsin do not have this protection.

The Wisconsin ROPS Rebate Program reimburses owners up to 70 percent (maximum of $865) toward the total cost of purchasing, shipping and installing individual ROPS.

Wisconsin resident tractor owners, both full-and part-time farmers, can apply for a ROPS via the hotline, 1-877-767-7748 (1-877-ROPSR4U), or the Web site, www.ropsr4u.com. You will receive information on ROPS options for your tractor, costs, and sources. Contact the ROPs rebate program when you are ready to make your purchase and they will give you instructions on how to get your rebate.

The program is run by the National Farm Medicine Center at Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, and is made possible through philanthropic support from the Auction of Champions. More than 180 ROPS have been installed since 2013.

For more information call Dr. Barbara Marlenga at the National Farm Medicine Center, 715-389-1519. Or you can contact me at the Kewaunee County UW-Extension Office at 388-7138.

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Support Building For Dairy Pride Act


By Tim Kowols




A bill on the U.S. Senate floor hopes to protect the dairy industry, an economic driver for the region and the state. The Dairy Pride Act, introduced by Senator Tammy Baldwin earlier this month, would enforce existing Food and Drug Administration regulations defining the products as coming from dairy animals. The bill comes on the heels of almond milk sales rising 250 percent in the last five years while its dairy counterpart has suffered a 37 percent drop in consumption since the 1970s according to the Huffington Post. Dairy Business Association Executive Director and Sturgeon Bay resident Tim Trotter says it is important to separate the two in order to protect the well-being of his farming neighbors in Door and Kewaunee County.



 

Dairy is big business in the area particularly in Kewaunee County where it has an economic impact of $65 million according to the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation. If passed, plant-based products would be forced to re-label to meet FDA guidelines.

 

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Top Horseman To Give Clinics At Farm Technology Days

By Tim Kowols



Horse owners can have their problems with their steeds addressed when one of the country’s leading horsemen and clinicians visits Kewaunee County this summer. During Farm Technology Days this July in Algoma, horseman Chris Cox will conduct a series of clinics that will work on everything from building a rider’s confidence to correcting issues with the horse. Farm Technology Days Horse Committee Co-chairperson Laura Siegmund says this is an extremely rare opportunity to get guidance from a world-renowned horseman like Cox.

 



 

To be considered for the clinics, you must fill out an application and submit a five-minute video of you and your horse as soon as possible for space is limited. Farm Technology Days runs from July 11-13 at Ebert Enterprises in Algoma.

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Peninsula Pride Farms Poised For Big Plans In 2017


By Tim Kowols




Peninsula Pride Farms plans on building on the progress it made during its first year of existence. Since it was founded in March 2016, its 42 members planted over 48,000 acres in cover crops to address phosphorus loss and entered agreements to assist four residents through its recently established Water Well program. During its first annual meeting Wednesday in Casco, the organization announced it would enter into multi-year programs with UW Discovery Farms and Natural Resources Conservation Service Demo Farms to further study the improvements they could make to not only make their operations better but protect ground and surface water. Peninsula Pride Farms president Don Niles hopes they can do more than "just do a better job."

 



 

The organization also hopes to work with Kewaunee County and the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey to help improve soil maps and farmers' nutrient management plans. Peninsula Pride Farms is made up of large and small-scale agricultural operations in Kewaunee and southern Door counties.

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Freezing Ice And Standing Water On Farm Fields May Effect Crops Later This Spring


By Paul Schmitt




The recent ice storm was not only bad for the conditions of area roads but was not good news to area farmers concerned about their fields and the potential to negatively affecting future crops.  Jim Wautier from Church Site Farms in Brussels explains the bad case scenario.

 



 

The lack of sufficient snow cover can also compound the issue.  Farmer's fields of alfalfa and winter wheat crops need protecting until the proper time of germination in the spring when temperatures remain mainly above freezing.

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Support Strong Locally For Farm Technology Days


By Tim Kowols




It takes more than just volunteers to help fund a three-day event expected to bring 45,000 people to Kewaunee County this summer. The fundraising committee for Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days has been working with non-profit groups, farmers, and small and large businesses alike to make sure the event is a success. Fundraising chairperson Sarah Englebert says it has been great to see the enthusiasm people have for Farm Technology Days coming to their community.

 



 

Englebert added that any money raised from the event will stay in Kewaunee County, helping fund individual projects and organizations. Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days will take place July 11 to 13 at Ebert Enterprises in Algoma.

 

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Farmers Look To Readying Equipment For Spring During Long Winter Months


By Paul Schmitt




Although area farmers are a few months from the planting season, life on the farm still can encompass long days of getting equipment and vehicles ready for the busy spring season.  Rich Olson of Olson Family Farms in southern Door County says he is just about ready to tackle some of those projects.

 

 


 

Olson says that it is important this time of year for snow cover to insulate area fields from soil erosion.  Potential damage to alfalfa and winter wheat crops due to frequent thawing and freezing temperatures is a concern for farmers as well, according to Olson.

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Farmers Hope To Add To Legacy Of Farm Technology Days With Landmark Program


By Tim Kowols




Farmers can add their operations to the legacy of this summer's Wisconsin Farm Technolgy Days in Kewaunee County through the Landmark Farm program. Any working farms in Kewaunee County and adjoining townships in neighboring counties can support the three-day event by helping it defray the operating costs.  Landmark Farm chairperson Jeff Montsma says it is a great way for every operation, whether it be dairy, livestock, cash grain, vegetables, or specialty, be a part of the event and show the area's agricultural diversity.

 



 

Landmark Farms receive recognition both at their operations and during Farm Technology Days taking place July 11 through 13 at Ebert Enterprises in Algoma. Remaining funds from the event will stay in Kewaunee County as grants for youth education, outreach, and other agricultural opportunities. So far, there are over 30 farms with the status.

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Prospect Of Higher Milk Prices Has Area Dairy Farmers Optimistic In 2017


By Paul Schmitt




Milk prices that once hit record-high levels back in 2014 have stayed lower this winter, but dairy farmers are optimistic that milk prices will bounce back in 2017.  Rich Olson of Olson ARE Farms in southern Door County says signs indicate that milk prices will make a come back by this summer.

 



 

Record high Milk prices that exceeded $24 per 100 lbs. — roughly 10 gallons — at times in 2014 have dropped into the $15 range in the past two years, according to Agweb.com.

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Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days To Put Best Hooves Forward With Horse Area


By Tim Kowols




Kewaunee County will not be horsing around when it comes to developing a strong horse program at this year's Farm Technology Days. Already booked for the three-day event is the award-winning cowboy mounted shooting group Mounted Justice, the country's leading horseman and clinician Chris Cox, and clinician/entertainer Dan James. Committee members Nancy LaCrosse and Laura Siegmund know a thing or two about how other horse shows across the country are run, operating their own farms in Kewaunee County. LaCrosse says they wanted to go big or go home.

 



 

Siegmund says more activities will be planned for the horse area at the event in the coming weeks. Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days will take place July 11-13 at Ebert Enterprises in Algoma.

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Snow Cover Important To Protecting Farmer's Crops During Severe Cold Weather


By Paul Schmitt




Snow cover in fields this time of year is crucial to a successful harvest for farmers down the road especially with extreme colder temperatures and winds forecasted in the next week.  Rich Olson from Olson Family Farms in southern Door County explains why a blanket of snow in the fields is important.

 



 

Ideally, having snow cover through the middle of March until temperatures warm up and stay above zero degrees will help protect the future harvested crops later this year, according to Olson.

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