WED AM News: Wet conditions presenting challenges for farmer; Ozaukee County ranked as healthiest county in the state

— A dairy farmer based in Brown County says recent rainfall represents “the final dagger in the heart” during a challenging year for farmers. 

Gordon Speirs, the owner of Shiloh Dairy, described some of the challenges his farm is facing, according to a recent release from the Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative. 

The co-op performs product verification and also advocates for dairy communities, lobbying at the national level. Edge has weighed in on issues surrounding farm siting, dairy labeling, funding for dairy research and other pressing issues for Wisconsin farmers. 

At Speirs’ operation in Greenleaf, difficult weather conditions have led to significant strain, even as dairy producers are seeing “some price relief.” 

“But it feels like we will be giving all of our profits back again this year, due to the added costs and reduced yields,” he said. 

Around this time last year, consistent rains began in September and wet conditions continued through the fall. Speirs explains that field work wasn’t finished before cold weather, and tasks such as emptying manure pits went unfinished. 

Those problems carried through to a wet spring, as much of Speirs’ alfalfa hay crops didn’t survive the winter. The planting of new alfalfa was delayed, as was this year’s corn crop. He explains a small window for planting corn opened up in late May, but “then the rains came again.” 

Most of the corn was planted by June 12 in subpar conditions, according to Speirs, while other fields that took longer to dry were planted later that month. But he says it was clear from late May that this year’s corn harvest would be delayed. 

Speirs says Shiloh Dairy normally takes four cuttings of hay, but the first three of this year were “challenged by wet fields,” as heavy equipment can’t be used in those conditions. The fourth cutting, which was due to be harvested on Sept. 10, is still in the field.

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— Ozaukee County has been ranked the healthiest county in the state based on smoking and drinking rates, obesity, insurance coverage and other factors. 

The new study by SmartAsset shows Ozaukee County has an adult smoking rate of 12.4 percent and an excessive drinking rate of 26.5 percent. Adult obesity is at 23.9 percent, and the uninsured rate is 3.8 percent. 

By comparison, the second-highest ranked county was Waukesha, with a 13.1 percent adult smoking rate. The excessive drinking rate is 26.4 percent, while adult obesity is at 26.4 percent and the uninsured rate is 3.6 percent. 

Dane County was ranked third with a 13 percent smoking rate, 29.4 percent excessive drinking rate, 24 percent adult obesity, and 4.8 percent uninsured. 

Rounding out the top 10 counties in order are: St. Croix, Washington, Door, Outagamie, Eau Claire, Calumet and Portage. 

See more on the state’s healthiest counties: 

— A group of dentists in the state are protesting proposed regulations that would require practitioners of “oral sedation” dentistry to undergo the same training as those performing IV sedation. 

The Concerned Dentists of Wisconsin, which calls itself an informal group, is calling on the Wisconsin Dentistry Examining Board to reject the proposed changes. The new regulations were approved in 2016 by the American Dental Association, but CDW says more than 20 other states have declined to enact the regulations. 

If the state board accepts the changes, more than 400 dentists in the state who already have oral sedation permits would be grandfathered in, according to a release. CDW says that shows existing rules don’t endanger patients. 

In a statement, the dentists opposing the rule change say they haven’t seen any evidence of patients being “seriously injured” by oral sedation dentists following existing regulations.  

Oral sedation involves patients being given sedative drugs orally, generally aimed at reducing anxiety and fear. CDW says that if general dentists providing oral sedation are required to get the same training as for IV sedation, many patients will seek expensive specialists or forego dental care. 

The group claims the proposed changes will lead to higher dental fees, and “will only drive patients away, especially lower-income patients who often are most in need of sedation dental care.”

See the release:

— The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has accepted an operating license application from SHINE Medical Technologies for the company’s planned medical isotope production facility in Janesville. 

“We have made great strides since receiving our construction permit from the NRC and our team is now focused on constructing our facility to establish a reliable, global supply of Mo-99,” said Greg Piefer, SHINE’s founder and CEO. 

Molebdynum-99, or Mo-99, is used in millions of medical imaging procedures every year. SHINE is aiming to satisfy two-thirds of patient demand for this isotope once its production facility is up and running. 

Now that the NRC has certified the application was complete, the commission will begin a complex technical review starting with a regulatory audit to set the schedule for the rest of the review process. 

Excavation work at the Janesville construction site began last month, and concrete foundation work is expected to begin sometime this month. SHINE anticipates production of Mo-99 starting in 2021 with full commercial production slated for 2022. 

See the release: 

— Phoenix LLC has unveiled its new imaging center near Madison, which will offer testing and scanning services for manufacturing industries including aerospace and defense. 

According to a release, the Phoenix Neutron Imaging Center is the first industrial radiography facility to provide both X-ray and neutron imaging services. Construction began in late 2018.

“PNIC represents a critical milestone on Phoenix’s journey to make high-performance, reliable and safe nuclear technology more broadly available to any industry,” Phoenix President Evan Sengbusch said in a statement.  

Neutron imaging is a non-destructive testing method that provides detailed information on the internal structure of objects and reveals features that other methods cannot.

As previously reported, the Monona-based Phoenix will move its corporate headquarters to the same area as the PNIC. Construction will begin this year, with occupancy expected in 2020.

See more at Madison Startups: 


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# Baird’s Norwood, LGBT Chamber’s Rae and MCW’s Siker selected to national list of influential young executives



– New survey finds Wisconsin fish farmers seeing steady demand


– Wisconsin second in US for binge drinking rate, study finds


– Haribo to support UW-Parkside athletics venue renovation, scholarship fund


– DNR report: Wisconsin air quality improving


– Advocate Aurora Health plans new Racine clinic


– Strauss Brands’ new HQ proposal runs into opposition


– Milwaukee DNC Host Committee president Gilbert discusses fundraising, community summits


– Sheldon Oppermann joins developer New Land

– Strauss Brands HQ vote deferred after slaughterhouse protests

– LCM Funds plans apartments on Walker’s Point lot


– Air Wisconsin flight attendants protest for fair contracts


– See photos of Sendik’s $5 million renovation at The Corners of Brookfield

– Kohl’s gives $1.5 million for Wild Theater program at Milwaukee County Zoo


– Federal agency accepts SHINE Medical isotope production facility application


– DNC 2020 host committee prioritizes volunteer recruitment, diversity and inclusion with new programs


– Infiniti dealership in Waukesha to be converted to Porsche dealership


– Sen. Jeff Smith: Wisconsin’s dairy crisis doesn’t stop at the farmer’s doorstep

– Margaret Krome: Sonny Perdue, Brad Pfaff offer a lesson in contrasting ag philosophies


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

SHINE Medical Technologies: Nuclear Regulatory Commission accepts SHINE’s operating license application

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce: Releases ‘Women in Manufacturing’ video during Manufacturing Month celebration

UW System Board of Regents: Approves resolution recognizing UW‑Superior freshwater research