Michigan Milk committed to sustainability

The Michigan Milk Producers Association is working to highlight sustainability efforts of farmer members.  President Ken Nobis says MMPA’s sustainability mission focuses on high-quality dairy products and what happens before milk leaves the farm. “That involves sustainability at our plant level, our operations level, and administration level.”  He tells Brownfield they will also be gathering… Read more »

Wisconsin lifts one avian influenza quarantine

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture has released the quarantine on the mixed poultry flock in Juneau County.  The flock of 33 birds was confirmed to have the H5N2 avian influenza virus on April 16th.  The flock was depopulated and extensive testing and monitoring in the area have found no further infections.  The ban on poultry… Read more »

New plan to restore pollinator habitat

A national strategy to promote the health of honeybees and other pollinators was announced this week.  EPA and USDA are working together on the Pollinator Heath Task Force to support habitat focused efforts.  The goals of the new strategy include reducing honeybee colony loses, increasing monarch butterflies and restoring habitat.  The plan includes restoring 7… Read more »

Pesticide safety and stewardship

Farmers can learn more about pesticide safety and handling as part of the cropping system with the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program.  Brian Rowe with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says the program also helps farmers with proper storage of pesticides. AUDIO: Interview with Brian Rowe (1:59 mp3):

Cleaning the farm shop

As the farm grows, so do the amount of odds and ends acquired in the expansion. Bern Kroupa farms just north of Traverse City with his wife at the Old Mission Fruit Company.  He says over the years they’ve bought a few farms that have brought with them chemicals and fertilizers which need to be… Read more »

Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee makes some budgetary changes

The Wisconsin State Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee took action on some ag-related budget items on Tuesday. The JFC approved $250,000 annually for a farmer-led watershed initiative to reduce nonpoint source pollution.  Farmers would be able to voluntarily work together to create watershed projects and implement conservation practices.  Grants will be available for up to $20,000… Read more »

U.W. Extension could take big hit

If the Wisconsin state legislature goes-through with the proposed $300 million cut for the University of Wisconsin system; U.W. Extension could lose 65 to 80 positions.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Extension has an annual budget of about $220 million with some coming from other sources but the state cuts would result in “the most… Read more »

Nobis Dairy receives sustainability award

The Innovations Center for U.S. Dairy has recognized Nobis Dairy Farm as one of three Outstanding Sustainability Farm Award winners.  Ken Nobis farms with his brother Larry in St. Johns, just north of the state Capitol.  He says on their 1,050 cow dairy they’ve tried to do what is right, including conservation tillage. “We’ve always… Read more »

Parasite claims five transplanted elk in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says five of the elk brought in from Kentucky in March have died.  The elk have been under quarantine in Jackson County since arriving in the Badger State.  In April, one cow and four calves died from acute Babesiosis, a disease caused by a microscopic tick-borne parasite that attacks… Read more »

National Geographic editor @animalag: farms must be more efficient

The first program feature of the Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit in Kansas City was a presentation by the executive editor of National Geographic about feeding the planet. Dennis Dimick told those attending the Stakeholders Summit that civilization depends on soil.  That’s only one of the facets of the ongoing series by the widely circulated… Read more »