Agriculture Archives for 2017-02

Peninsula Pride Farms Hopes Well Data Gives Them Direction


By Tim Kowols




Members of Peninsula Pride Farms are calling the recent findings made by the United States Department of Agriculture's Mark Borchardt as a great starting point to shape their actions to address ground and surface water concerns. Of the 82 randomly selected wells during three different test periods, 26 wells were found to be contaminated by bovine sources, while 18 were affected by human contamination. Peninsula Pride Farms President Don Niles says the hard data gathered in the study so far gave great insight into what farms can do better, especially during times of groundwater recharge.

 



 

Peninsula Pride Farms, made up of 42 different operators and 48,000 acres of land, will enter into multi-year study programs with UW Discovery Farms and Natural Resources Conservation Service Demo Farms to learn more about best land management practices.

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Immigration Actions Worry Local Dairy Farmers


By Tim Kowols




Recent actions in federal immigration policies have some local dairy farmers concerned about their workforce. President Donald Trump issued executive orders last month increasing the number of immigration officers and deportations for undocumented immigrants. Haberli Farms in Egg Harbor relies on an immigrant workforce to help with its over 600 cows and 5,000 acres of land. While dairy manager and DoorCountyDailyNews.com Ag Advisory Board member Mark Haberli knows his employees are covered with the necessary I-9 form, he knows it weighs on them heavily.

 



 

A 2009 University of Wisconsin study showed that an estimated 40 percent of workers on the state's dairy farms were immigrants.

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Weekend Snow a Good Thing for Local Farmers


By Brady Haupt




While most of us may not have been happy to see winter weather back in the area after last week's warm temperatures, the snow is giving farmers a helping hand. DoorCountyDailyNews.com Ag Advisory Board member 520Rich Olson of Olson Family Farms in southern Door County explains how the snow coverage can be of benefit to farmers.

 



 

Temperatures are expected to vary this week but farmers can look forward to more snow in the forecast.

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Sap Getting Ready To Flow For Maple Syrup


By Tim Kowols




A maple syrup producer in Door County says he has taken advantage of the warm weather to check his equipment, but will wait for more cold weather before he starts tapping. Ed Staats and his family has been tapping maple trees for sap at Country View Farms near Carlsville for close to 60 years. Using a vacuum to harvest his sap, Staats says he actually needs temperatures to dip to ensure a tight seal and a high yield.

 



 

According to Staats, the moisture available for maple trees is also an important factor for sap production. Syrup production is expected to begin on time at Country View Farms, which is usually at the beginning to middle of March.

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Career Opportunities For FFA Students Highlighted During National FFA Week


By Paul Schmitt




As National FFA Week is being recognized around the country, area schools are working to provide a path of achievement and leadership for students.  Southern Door School Superintendent Patti Vickman says opportunities for FFA students extend well beyond the typical agricultural careers.

 



 

Vickman salutes the current Southern Door FFA president who recently received national recognition.

 



 

Southern Door Schools will have activities during FFA Week featuring a milk mustache contest and the calf bottle chugging contest.

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Warm Spell Worries Orchard Owners


By Tim Kowols




A mild winter might be a saving grace for orchard owners this weekend when temperatures are expected to hit the 50s. The warm spell will cause temperatures to be at least 20 degrees warmer than average according to data from the Midwestern Climate Center. While the weather may give apple and cherry trees the wrong idea much earlier than expected, it could have been worse according to Wood Orchard owner Steve Wood.

 



 

According to Wood, trees are beginning to hit the critical time of their development with temperatures expected to go back to the upper 30s next week.

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Pagel Named One of the Three Finalists for Top Ag Producer of the Year


By Paul Schmitt




John Pagel of Kewaunee was honored as the 2017 Top Producer of the Year finalist at a Bayer CropScience and Case IH seminar held in Chicago recently.  Pagel owns Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy in Kewaunee County and serves as the CEO of the largest single-family-owned diary operation in the state.  Pagel says the honor encompassed all aspects of agriculture.

 



 

According to the Farm Journal Media release, Pagel's operation includes 5,300 dairy cows, 8,500 crop acres and a digester that produces enough electricity for the entire town of Kewaunee. The Top Producer of the Year contest is in its 18th year and bases the selection on entrepreneurial originality, financial and business progress, and industry and community leadership.

 

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Winter Weather Playing Games With Area Farmers


By Tim Kowols




The freezing and thawing temperatures in the area this winter have not been popular with area farmers. While the snow cover has been good to protect the fields, warmer temperatures are causing root systems to push out of the ground, only to get damaged when freezing temperatures return. Rich Olson from Olson Family Farms in Sturgeon Bay says the fluctuating temperatures are causing other problems as well, especially with his dairy cattle.

 



 

Olson says keeping the barn at a constant temperature and in some rare cases using antibiotics are just some of the ways he is using to keep his herd healthy.

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Food Lovers To Get A Taste Of Kewaunee County At Farm Technology Days


By Tim Kowols




Attendees to Farm Technology Days in Algoma this summer will get more than a taste of Kewaunee County at food tents. Kolaches from a local baker, cheese curds, and hamburgers made with beef raised by host farm Ebert Enterprises are just some of the menu options being served up by hundreds of volunteers during the three-day event. Food committee co-chairperson Sue Sevcik says she joined the team because she wanted to make sure the menu items were made with locally produced ingredients as much as possible.



 

Sevcik says local groups can still volunteer at the food tents on site and earn money for their respective causes. Farm Technology Days will take place July 11 to 13 in Algoma.

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Local Farmers Get Behind DAIRY Pride Act


By Tim Kowols




Dairy farmers are happy legislators in Washington D.C. are doing their part to protect their industry. Spearheaded by Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, the DAIRY Pride Act aims to require the Food and Drug Administration to do a better job enforcing the identity of milk, which would force plant-based alternatives such as almond and soy to relabel their products. Rich Olson from Olson Family Farms in Sturgeon Bay says he has no problem with almond or soy "juice," but believes any confusion should be eliminated.

 



 

The DAIRY Pride Act comes at a time where milk prices have plunged while their plant-based equivalents sales have risen by as much as 250 percent over the last five years according to the Huffington Post. In a letter written to the United State Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, American Soybean Association President Ron Moore says the legislation is unneeded because no confusion between the products exists.

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Innovation Square To Put Kewaunee County On Display At Farm Technology Days


By Tim Kowols




Visitors to Innovation Square at this year's Farm Technology Days will get to experience a little bit of Kewaunee County in the middle of a farm field at Ebert Enterprises in Algoma. A replica lighthouse and a man-made water feature will highlight the area's proximity to Lake Michigan while a pop-up farmers market will put Kewaunee County's products in the spotlight. Innovation Square chairperson Bill Roethle says it is all about helping the expected 40,000 attendees get a better idea of what is in the county they are visiting.

 



 

Innovation Square made its Farm Technology Days debut during the 2015 event in Dane County. Kewaunee County will host this year's edition of Farm Technology Days July 11 to 13.

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