Latest News & Views

Proposed manure rule change worries farmers

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor
If the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources restricts manure application in certain regions of the state, farmer Rob Kiehneau is afraid his small Door County dairy will close.
Kiehneau, who milks between 60 and 70 cows and grows crop at his Egg Harbor farm, said about 75 percent of his farm rests on land with less than 2 feet of soil to bedrock. Under proposed changes to NR 151, farms with less than 2 feet of soil to bedrock would not be able to spread manure. Read more here.

Science proves rbST is safe

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor
You would not know it by today’s marketing campaigns and headlines, but recombinant bovine somatrotropin, or rbST, has been used safely in cows since the 1990s.
Cows naturally produce bovine somatotropin (bST) – which tells their bodies to produce milk. In 1993, the Federal Drug Administration approved the use of rbST in animals after researchers developed and tested rbST for more than 10 years. Chris Galen, senior vice president for communication for the National Milk Producers Federation, said a cow’s body treats and processes rbST the same way as it does bST and other protein hormones. Read more here.

Time for FDA to put squeeze on plant-based imposters

By Laurie Fischer
American Dairy Coalition
No matter the age, when Americans think of milk, they envision healthy bones and calcium.
Science continues to make the case: A cup of milk provides about 30 percent of the daily recommended calcium intake for the majority of the population.  When a gallon of milk is purchased anywhere across the U.S., consumers know what they are getting inside that jug — no matter the brand. That’s because it’s actually milk! It comes from a lactating cow. Read more here.

Crop sprayers provide farm with effective pest control

By Nikki Kallio
It’s the peak season for rural sightings of yellow aircraft gracefully dipping over fields throughout the Midwest. While it’s fun to observe the aerial maneuvers, what’s happening in the pilot’s seat is serious business.
“I love to fly, but my gratification comes from knowing I did something more positive for society as a whole,” said Damon Reabe, president of both Reabe Spraying Service in Plover and Plainfield, Wis., and Dairyland Aviation in Waupun, Wis. “I know that those growers that chose our service are going to generate more bushels from their fertilizer.” Read more here.

Feast & Famine in the ag industry

FEAST: It’s a legal victory that took too long in the coming, but we celebrate it nonetheless. The Court of Justice of the European Union in June ruled that, within the EU, a number of dairy terms must only be used on products that come from an animal. While “milk” is the obvious first product, the ruling also extends to words like “butter,” “cream,” “cheese” and “yogurt.” Additionally, and importantly, attempting to modify these terms by adding a descriptor isn’t allowed either – meaning things like “veggie cheese” or “plant milk” simply cannot exist. The question now is whether American lawmakers also will codify common sense? Read more here.

Click here to see all stories from the September issue of MAA.